PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — You’ve been hearing a lot about mail-in ballots, but what happens if you request a mail-in ballot and then change your mind? All three states in the tri-state region have different rules.
“Stick to your plan. Make your voting plan and stick to it,” said Susan Suinat with U.S. Vote Foundation. “Help everybody, that way you don’t duplicate work.”
The upcoming 2020 election is promising to break records in the number of total votes cast and the number of mail-in ballots requested and returned. But if you request a mail-in ballot and then change your mind, what happens next?
In Delaware, you can still vote in person, even if you’ve requested a mail-in ballot. But, in New Jersey, if you change your mind, you’ll have to vote by provisional ballot.
“You’d be able to vote, it simply would not be counted right away,” Suinat explained. “They need to check things out, investigate them, make sure you haven’t voted otherwise and then they count them as of seven days after the election.”
In Pennsylvania, the rules are a little different.
“If a voter has applied and has changed their mind for any reason, they can choose to go in person,” Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said.
However, as Boockvar explains, you must bring your mail-in ballot and both envelopes to the polls with you.
“When you check in with the poll workers, you’ll say, ‘I’d like to surrender my mail ballot, I have not cast it.’ They’ll take it, you sign a declaration affirming that you have not already voted and they’ll let you vote on a regular voting system, just like everybody else,” Boockvar said.
If you don’t want to put your ballot in the mail, you can also choose to leave your ballot at a local election center or drop box.
You can check out the options in your home county by checking out our special election guide.