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Absentee ballots offer convenience, risk

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Two weeks from Election Day, some Alachua County residents are requesting absentee ballots. The ballots offer a chance to vote without actually going to the polls. Something as simple as forgetting to sign the back of the envelope, however, could jeopardize an absentee ballot being counted.

Alachua County voter Meg Thomas requested to vote absentee.

“I’ll be very busy, starting from now till the end of the election cycle, so I wanted to make sure that my ballot was in, and that was one thing I didn’t have to worry about,” she said.

About one percent of absentee ballots from the 2008 election and from this year’s primaries was not accepted.

Voters can take precautions to make sure their ballots are counted, said Pam Carpenter, Alachua County’s supervisor of elections.

She said its important for voters to remember to sign the envelope when mailing in their ballots. If voters make a mistake when filling in their ballots, they should call the elections office and request a new ballot.

Absentee ballots can be requested by mail, phone, online, in-person with the supervisor, or through a written request. The ballots must be completed by Oct. 31.

Katherine Hahn wrote this story online

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