Longer ballots, fattened in many states by constitutional amendment votes on top of voting for federal, state, and local offices, have increased the cost of sending back absentee ballots beyond standard postage and “Forever” stamps. For instance, Florida has 11 constitutional amendments on the ballot in addition to federal, state, local, and judge elections.
Instructions with ballots tell voters how much postage to place on the return envelope in order to properly deliver them. What is done in cases where voters do not include proper postage to deliver the ballots will vary from state to state and county to county. Some counties may very well cover postage both ways, as Miami-Dade County plans to do, and others may cover the difference, but cash-strapped counties are within their rights to return ballots with insufficient postage.
Returning a ballot with insufficient postage could lead to a vote not counting, if the voter is unable to resend the ballot with proper postage before the election deadline.
So voters who are planning on voting absentee might want to double-check that they’ve paid the proper postage on their return envelopes before dropping them in the mailbox.
– Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPolitics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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