Vote by Mail Checklist

  1. Request a mail ballot & send in any ID needed
    1. You may request your absentee ballot online, through email, or by printing out your ballot and sending it in. Find your local elections office address here. See this picture for how to request an envelope.
    2. If your state does not allow you to request a ballot online or email in a request and you do not have access to a printer, TurboVote will send you a pre-postaged request form. You can request this service through
  2. Research the candidates and issues on your ballot
  3. Complete and submit your ballot as soon as you receive it
    1. Look here for tips on making sure you fill out your ballot correctly.
    2. Check to see if you need a witness or a notary. 
    3. Make sure you have the right postage (some ballots are pre-paid). Undergraduates living on Campus, check your mailbox for stamps! 
    4. You can place your completed ballot in a personal outgoing mailbox, a blue post office box, a ballot dropbox (only if you are in the community where you are voting), or bring your ballot to your local election office. Most Harvard mail centers have outgoing US mailboxes.

Witnesses can typically be anyone over the age that have to witness you filling out your ballot or your ballot signature. They typically have to write or sign their name on your ballot.

Notaries are state officials that can certify signatures. Notary services are available for free at Cambridge Trust Bank in the Square. Check your state election website for notaries near you. Wait to sign your ballot until you are with the notary and be sure to bring an ID with you.
If you requested your mail-in ballot but it hasn’t come yet:

  1. If your state has vote by mail tracking, check to see if your ballot has been sent. Leave at least 10 days for it to arrive.
  2. Call your local elections office for a replacement ballot or to check the status of your ballot. 
  3. If you can’t reach them, look up the rules on applying for a replacement ballot or call the voter protection hotline (866-OUR-VOTE). You may be able to just apply for another ballot online or with a paper form.
  4. Depending on the state and circumstances, make a back up plan to vote in person. Check online to see if this is possible – you will likely have to cast a provisional ballot at the polls. If your ballot has arrived and you want to vote in person, bring the ballot with you to the polls. 

If you have any questions, text “@votinghelp” to 81010 or email