Officials at the D.C. Board of Elections are prepared to assist voters who are having problems with their mail-in ballots, according to an official with the agency.

Nick Jacobs, the public information officer for the board, said his agency will respond quickly to concerns “whether it be a signature issue or where they spilled coffee on it.”

“We want to help voters,” he said. “We want to make sure all ballots will be counted for this election.”

As of Oct. 15, the board’s website reports 81,784 mail-in ballots have been submitted.

The board mailed all District voters a ballot — a first — due to the coronavirus pandemic in the city and the board’s desire to keep people away from the polls out of health concerns. Voters can mail their completed ballots to the board in a prepaid envelope or place envelopes in one of 55 drop-box locations in the city until 8 p.m. on Nov. 3, Election Day.

Early voting starts on Oct. 27 and ends on Nov. 2 at 32 Super Vote Centers throughout the District and same-day registration and voting will take place on Election Day at 95 polling sites.

Jacobs said mail-in ballots must be postmarked on Election Day at 8 p.m. in order to be counted for the general election. Mail-in ballots must be in by close of business Nov. 13 to be counted for the general election, he said.

“If your ballot comes in after Election Day and it has a Nov. 4 postmark, it will not be counted,” he said.

The website said voters should use the prepaid envelope provided by the board and not their own to contain their ballot and not to use tape to seal the envelope. First-time voters must provide a government identification document or a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or paycheck to verify identity. The documents must be in the mail-in envelope, the website said. The website said the documents in the second category must be valid as of Aug. 5, 90 days before the general election.

Jacobs urges voters to complete the ballot as soon as possible and either mail it or submit it to a drop box. If there are problems with the ballot itself, he urges voters to contact the elections board immediately to resolve the issue.

“We don’t want invalid ballots,” Jacobs said. “Whatever the issue is, voters should get in touch with us and we will work with them to resolve it.”

James Wright Jr.

James Wright Jr. is the D.C. political reporter for the Washington Informer Newspaper. He has worked for the Washington AFRO-American Newspaper as a reporter, city editor and freelance writer and The Washington...

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