Where’s My Ballot Gone? Ballot Delivery Gone Awry in an Important American Election: 2 November 2020

Person holds up an official mail-in ballot for the American General Election for 2020 with a pile of postmarked envelopes on the table beside it

I’m kinda embarrassed / enraged / depersonalized about this. I’ve never had an issue with a mail-in American ballot. I’ve gone on and on about how amazing the Cook County Clerk’s office has been, and encouraged people to use this option during the pandemic.

I couriered my American ballot on 22 September 2020 after receiving it by email on 19 September 2020 and completing it on 20 September 2020. It cost me $65NZ to send it, plus $5 for the special envelope. I sent it by courier because I had a gut feeling there would be issues sending it. I would have sent it sooner but the courier computers were down so I came back a day later to send it.

The couriers reported it delivered on 2 October 2020 at 8:44 AM Chicago time.

Unusually, I never received email confirmation from the Cook County Clerk’s office, but I assumed they were busy due to the pandemic.

A few weeks ago I emailed them about it because my parents received confirmation emails despite dropping off theirs later than mine. And emailed them. And emailed them. And emailed them about my ballot. Lots of no responses.

I finally set up Gmail on my work Outlook and sent it again with a receive and read receipt. Voila! A response!

Don’t have your ballot. No, “dear Scott” or “thank you,” just one short sentence.

It didn’t answer my question that there were initials attached to the delivery; did someone in the office have those initials?

No response to several emails.

I sent a DM on Twitter to the Cook County Clerk herself. She got back to me; she’s looking into it.

I filled out a (very lengthy) form on the courier’s site. Took me 15 minutes to fill out.

30 minutes later, a response. The rep regurgitated the info I literally had seen on the screen for days.

I exploded at them.

They lodged a formal enquiry into my missing ballot.

So here we are, over a month after it was supposedly delivered, and no one knows where my ballot is during one of the most important American elections in our lives.

Not happy, Jan.

UPDATE, 3 November 2020 at 9:15 AM: They have found my ballot and it has been registered as received on November 2, 2020. Phew.