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What happens after your mailed-in ballot is received

A bipartisan ballot board reviews mailed-in signatures and audits day-of in-person voting to ensure counts match.

MCKINNEY, Texas — With more Texans utilizing mail-in voting this year, there is a lot questions we have received about what happens after you send in your ballot.

Collin County Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet says he’s also seeing an increased level of queries about the steps involved to ensure a mail-in or absentee ballot gets counted.

“There’s a lot of checks and balances you don’t really realize behind the scenes,” Sherbet said.

In many counties, you can track your ballot to see that it’s arrived. Collin County does it via a spreadsheet, with a long list of voters posted online.

In Tarrant County, it’s an online search that tells you when your ballot arrived with the final field blank that says “approved by ballot board."

“The ballot board has members of both parties on it that will verify the signatures on the application and the return ballot carrier envelope containing the ballot,” Sherbet said.

Sherbet says ballot boards do reject mail-in ballots if they can’t verify both signatures came from the same person – but it is exceedingly rare.

In 2016, Collin County received 21,000 mail-in ballots. The ballot board rejected just 17, because of signature issues.

“They do everything possible to make sure that it’s approved,” Sherbet said.

Once those two signatures are approved, the mail-in ballot is then counted on Nov. 3. Sherbet adds the bipartisan ballot board handles more than just mail-in ballots but works to ensure the integrity of the day-of in-person vote too.

“They also check the audits from all the locations to make sure everything is being accounted for,” Sherbet said.

Layers of election security you may not see – but one elections administrators count on to ensure public confidence in a historic decision in just 11 days.