Updated: August 18, 2020 06:32 PM
Created: August 18, 2020 05:49 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- While U.S. lawmakers debate funding for the United States Postal Service, Bernalillo County officials are urging residents to use mail-in ballots to vote during the upcoming election.
Registered voters can start requesting absentee ballots now.
However, on Sept. 14, the clerk’s office will mail an application for an absentee ballot to all registered voters that have not yet requested one.
“You can download it, fill it out and mail it in. You can call 234-VOTE, (press) option 1 and verbally request an absentee ballot,” said Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover.
“You got to remember these are requests for absentee ballots,” she added.
Stover said she’s confident in the post office’s ability to deliver ballots during a pandemic.
"We in Bernalillo County had the biggest primary we ever had in an election, we had total trust in our post office," Stover said.
Despite record turnout, thousands of ballots were left uncounted because they did not arrive on time, according to Stover.
“A couple of thousand, they just came too late,” she said.
The clerk’s office said it will begin mailing out absentee ballots to voters that have requested them starting Oct. 6.
In-person absentee voting will also being on Oct. 6 at the clerk’s annex.
Even though she has faith in the post office, Stover said voters should mail their absentee ballots back immediately to make sure they’re vote gets counted.
“I want to encourage you when you receive your ballot – sit down, go over it, it’s a big ballot, fill it out, and mail it back,” she said.
“There’s a week there between the last day and the actual voting day. So I still have confidence that this is going to be delivered, that your votes will be counted, please feel safe in doing this,” Stover added.
Early voting and same day registration will take place between Oct. 17 and Oct. 31.
People can also drop off their absentee ballot at the polling sites once they open.
Stover says her office must receive your request for an absentee ballot by Oct. 20. She also recommends mailing it by Oct. 27.
Election day is Nov. 3 and there will be 71 polling locations open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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