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2020 Election: Reasons a ballot can be disqualified

Election officials work to make voting easy and ensure each vote is counted, but many ballots are still disqualified every election.

MADISON COUNTY, ALABAMA, Ala. — Election officials work to make voting easy and ensure each vote is counted, but still, many ballots are disqualified every election.

Whether you vote in person or absentee, there are guidelines you must follow in order for your vote to count.

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Make sure you fill in the entire bubble next to the candidate you support. If the machine can't read the ballot, your vote may not count.

If you change your address past the time to update your voting registration information, show up to vote at the wrong precinct, or request an absentee ballot the week before the election and you don't have an ID, you may end up filling out a provisional ballot. If the provisional ballot doesn't check out, they cannot count that vote.

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Madison County Circuit Clerk Debra Kizer said, "One that we sometimes have but not very often is when people have moved and it's past the deadline to register or update your address, then we give them the form to update it and we give it to the Board of Registrars along with their ballot on election night."

If you vote absentee, you must fill out all the information correctly or risk your ballot being thrown out. If the absentee ballot is not signed and witnessed, they cannot count it.

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"There's no way to correct that," said Kizer. "It's sort of like putting in your ballot into the machine, and once you put it in the machine, you can't get it back out, so we're kind of like the machine when we get it. The law doesn't allow us to give it back to the voter, so that will disqualify it."

For important election deadlines, how to register to vote and more, click here to access our full election guide.

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