Almost 8 million Californians now cast their ballots by mail instead going to the polls. A new study of three California counties found that only 0.8 percent of mailed ballots, about 30,000, are not tallied. That might seem insignificant, unless it's your ballot.
There are three main reasons vote-by-mail ballots go uncounted:
- The ballot was mailed too late. Ballots need to be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, not postmarked (61 percent of uncounted ballots).
- There was no signature (20 percent).
- The signature provided did not adequately compare with the one on file (18 percent).
The California Voter Foundation studied the vote-by-mail process for one year in Santa Cruz, Sacramento and Orange counties. The foundation estimates that about 66,000 vote-by-mail ballots went uncounted statewide in 2012.
One major challenge is that voters who incorrectly mail their ballots are never notified.