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Down To The Wire For Mail-In Ballots Not Yet Received By Elections Offices

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - It's down to the wire for missing mail-in ballots.

An online registry can verify if a ballot has been received or not.

Advocates say, when in doubt, make a plan to vote in person on Tuesday.

"You'll tell the clerk, 'listen I voted by mail, but the county hasn't received it. I'd like to vote provisionally' and they should allow you to vote a provisional ballot," says Elizabeth Alvarez, an election and litigation attorney with Guest & Gray. "Provisional ballots were created as a catch all for any kind of voter who does not meet the normal requirements. If you show up and you promise you're registered, but they can't find you in the system? You're voting provisionally."

The option saved the day for Novella McCutchin.

At 95 years old, she's already left a legacy about the privilege and responsibility of casting a ballot.

"She has gone through multiple decades where we fought for this freedom," says granddaughter Shaun Carey. "This was in John Lewis' words: the 'good trouble', and she was a part of all that."

So McCutchin's large family didn't want any trouble with her mail-in ballot.

After searching for it online, they learned that hers was one of the many still missing.

"My cousin looked up her ballot and brought it to the family's attention and we acted on it," says Carey. "Because of that, she got the opportunity to vote."

Those who still have still not returned their mail-in ballots, Alvarez advises against taking a chance.

"Normally they tell you that you can postmark it the day of the election, and as long as it's received the day after, it still counts," says Alvarez. "Given the post office's delays, I personally, would not put my faith in that. I would take my ballot to a polling place on election day, surrender it, allow it to be cancelled and vote a regular ballot in person. It's really important that your vote count and we all have to take responsibility for doing everything we can to make that happen."

Just like Novella McCutchin.



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