Mail-In Ballot Tips

Tips for Mail-In Ballot Voting

Only place your own ballot in your return envelope: Do not put anyone else's ballot in your postage-paid return envelope (it has your pre-printed name on it).  If more ballots than your own are inside the envelope when it's returned, then none of the ballots will be counted. 

You MUST sign the outside of the return envelope: You must sign the outside of your postage-paid envelope in the space provided - the signature box under the flap. If you do not, then your mail ballot may not be counted. Once you have signed the return envelope, follow the instructions for sealing it.

Clearly mark your ballot as instructed: Read and follow the voting instructions in your mail ballot packet to clearly mark your choices and ensure your ballot is counted.

  • Use only black or blue ink ink. DO NOT use felt tip pins or permanent markers.
  • Avoid stray marks and tearing the ballot
  • Do not put "I Voted" sticker on your ballot.
  • Do not sign your actual ballot.
  • Mark your choices in each contest or question by completely filling in the oval to the right of each of your ballot choices.
  • If you choose to vote on some candidates or questions and not others, your ballot will be counted for those you have voted on.  This will not invalidate your ballot.
  • If you mark more choices than permitted in a single contest, no vote will be counted for that contest but the rest of your correctly marked ballot will be counted.

If you do make a mistake or change your mind while voting your ballot:

  • DO NOT use correction fluid or tape.
  • Simply put a single line through the name of the candidate or question you do not wish to vote for and completely fill in the oval to the right of the candidate or question you do want to vote for.
  • Please do not try to completely black out or cross out the name or question

Return your voted ballot as soon as possible: Do not wait until the last minute to return your voted mail ballot. Mail it as soon as possible or deposit it at any one of the Vote Center/Drop Off locations. A list of Vote Centers/Drop Off locations can be found in your sample ballot.  

  • Returning by Mail:  You may choose to vote your ballot and return it by mailing your voted ballot, postage pre-paid, through the U.S. Postal Service.
  • Mail-In Ballot Drop Boxes: Secure mail-in ballot drop boxes are available at all early voting and Election Day Vote Centers. It is a felony for anyone other than the Elections Department to provide "official" ballot drop boxes.
    • Ballots must be dropped off at a drop box location by 7:00 pm on Election Day or postmarked on or before Election Day and received in the Registrar of Voters office by 5:00 pm on the fourth day following Election Day to be counted.

If your mail-in ballot is returned to a ballot drop box, if scanned, it is for internal logistics only. Your ballot will not be scanned into the official system until received by the Registrar of Voter office at the end of the night. For this reason, you can track your ballot starting the following day.

Check the delivery of the ballot to you: Used the "Informed Delivery" service available through the USPS.   

Anyone can deliver a completed ballot on behalf of any voter: Completed ballots may be returned by mail, dropped of at one of our drop-off locations or Vote Centers during Early Voting and on Election Day, or in person at the Registrar of Voters Office located at the Washoe County Administrative Complex, 1001 E 9th Street, Bldg A, Rm 135.  The ballot cannot be faxed or emailed.

The ballot must be postmarked no later than Election Day: In order to be counted, your ballot must be postmarked no later than Election Day or dropped off by 7:00 pm on Election Day.  If you should tear, deface or lose your ballot, call the Registrar of Voters Office at (775) 328-3670 to get a replacement.

More Questions?  CLICK HERE to view frequently asked questions regarding mail-in ballots.