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Voter Registration Postmarks and Cut-Off Dates

To: All Tax Assessor-Collectors/Voter Registrars
From: Keith Ingram, Director of Elections
Date: January 31, 2014
RE: Voter Registration Postmarks and Cut-Off Dates

As a reminder, Monday, February 3, 2014 is the last day for a voter to register to vote in the upcoming March Primary Election.  With the USPS change in requirements, there are occasions where USPS is not postmarking the voter’s application card.  In order to handle this situation, we have developed a recommended order of identification to help registrars determine whether or not an application should be considered to be timely.  The dates that can be used, in order, should they appear, are:

Applications Sent Directly to the County

  1. A postmark directly on the voter application or accompanying envelope.
  2. The date written in by the applicant next to their signature.
  3. If none of these exist, then the date received by the voter registrar’s office should be used.

Applications Sent from the Secretary of State’s Office

When our office receives applications, we sort them by county and then mail them to Voter Registrars.  If you receive a packet of applications from us, please use the following dates:

  1. The date postmarked on the envelope sent to you by the Secretary of State’s office.
  2. If the date postmarked on an envelope sent to you by the Secretary of State’s office is after the deadline, we will include a note stating that the applications were received on or before the deadline.  (See the attached sample.)

Please keep in mind that the only time that the Secretary of State’s office will include a note or letter with a date to use is when the applications received are close enough to the registration cut-off that it needs to be clear that the registrations are eligible for the current election.  If no notice is included, then the voter will be eligible for the next election.  If there was no note in the envelope from the SOS with the registrations, then all of the applications were received by us after February 4 or the appropriate cut-off date for the next election, regardless of what the applicant may have written on it.

If an envelope containing voter applications is mailed from a source other than the Secretary of State and the manila envelope bears a post office cancellation mark, then all of the VR applications contained in the envelope should be treated as having been postmarked on the same day. If the manila envelope is unmarked and there is no indication as to when the envelope was sent, the voters might be treated as having registered on the date the applications were received.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this information or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the VR TEAM at (800) 252-2216, option 1.