Was Your Vote Wasted Last Election?

I got my early ballot…did you?

[If not, you need to read about the early voters who won’t be getting early ballots for our Primary Election].

Before filling out my ballot, I looked over the instruction pamphlet that came with it.

You may have seen it. The yellow insert, complete with do’s and don’ts? That one.

It provided very detailed instructions on how to vote successfully, what NOT to do when you make a mistake, and how to get a new ballot.

And then there’s the “remember to sign and date!” warning on the front of the return envelope.

And all this got me wondering.

Just how many ballots are thrown away because voters don’t complete them correctly?

Because that’d be a shame. If you go to the effort to register, to request an early ballot, and then to complete it, you really want it to be counted, right?

So, being the data-driven guy that I am, I dug in.

Just How Many Ballots Get Rejected?

Turns out, there’s a bunch of votes tossed out each election.

According to the Official Election Results for last March’s election in which the residents defeated the proposed changes to our General Plan, there were 529 rejected ballots.

Not a large percentage, but in an exceptionally close race that number of votes can make a big difference.

In the Special Election held November 2010? There were 588 rejected ballots.

And in the November 2008 Special Election, aka the runoff between Jim Lane & incumbent Mayor Mary Manross? Where Lane won by only 590 votes? There were 464 rejected ballots in that one.

Here’s What You Can Do

In order to make your early ballot actually count, be sure to do the following:

  • Use pencil or a black ball point pen. No red ink.
  • Complete ONLY the arrows pointing to your selection. Make no stray marks.
  • If you make a mistake, don’t try to correct it. Instead, request a new ballot by marking the proper checkbox on the return envelope and mail back your ruined ballot.
  • After voting, sign and date the affidavit on the return envelope. Your ballot will be rejected without a signature.
  • Mail your ballot in OR hand deliver it to the Elections Dept at the County Recorder’s Office OR drop it at any polling place by 7PM on election day.

If you have any questions, call the County Recorder’s Office at 602-506-2348.

Make your vote count! And if you’d like to share this important info with a friend or neighbor, please click the button of your choice down below. Thanks!


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  1. John: Thanks for the heads-up on getting the ballot, which did work by going online and filling in the blanks. We got our ballots yesterday, filled them out properly, and mailing them in today. I spoke to Howard Meyers about this as he and his wife had a very difficult time getting their ballots. Again, thanks for the heads-up! Bob

  2. John,

    I love voting by mail. I filled out my ballot yesterday and made sure to connect the arrow next to “John Washington.” We Air Force guys have to stick together plus I don’t want Scottsdale Road to look any more like Wilshire Boulevard than it already does.

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