City Hall

Election Q&A: why does my ballot status still show ‘not received’?

Ballot not received
Many voters who submitted their ballots by mail in the Nov. 6, 2018, election saw a message on a county website indicating their ballot had not been received.

Sentinel staff report–
Under California Election law, you can check online to see if your vote-by-mail ballot was counted — but upon checking the status of their ballot even a week after the election, many in Citrus Heights and Sacramento County were shown a message informing them that their ballot had still “not been received.”

So what’s going on — are ballots actually being received and counted?

On Saturday, The Sentinel asked Sacramento County Registrar of Voters Courtney Bailey-Kanelos for an update on vote counting efforts and why voters may have been notified that their ballot had not been received.

She previously confirmed that ballots will be listed as “not received” even if the ballot made it to the registrar’s office, since that initial status will only change after the signature on the ballot has been verified.

As vote-by-mail ballots have all now been signature-checked and updated online, she said voters are recommended to first check the county elections website again to see if their ballot status has been updated. If it still shows “not received,” the registrar said voters should contact the Sacramento County Voter Registration and Elections Office at (916) 875-6451.

As of Nov. 17, elections officials have counted a total of 419,892 ballots county-wide. However, there are still many more to be counted before certified results from the election are reported by Dec. 6th.

“We do still have almost 100,000 ballots to tabulate (count),” Bailey-Kanelos said in an email to The Sentinel on Saturday. “These include the remaining ballots dropped off at the Vote Centers on Election Day, any ballots sent to us from other counties, any ballots that were initially challenged but made good (like if they initially didn’t sign their envelope or signature didn’t match), and the remaining Conditional Voter Registrations and Provisional ballots from Election Day.”

She said provisional ballots are last to be counted.

Bailey-Kanelos also said any voters who had an issue with their signature not matching on their ballot envelope will have until Nov. 26 “to get their updated signature to us to include their ballot in the final results.” If something is wrong with a ballot, she said attempts will be made to contact the voter prior to certification “so we can be sure to count their ballot.”

The registrar said elections officials plan to count the majority of remaining ballots before Thanksgiving.

To check on the status of your vote-by-mail ballot in Sacramento County, follow these two steps:

  1. Visit the Sacramento County Voter Registration and Elections website.
  2. Select “registration” from the top menu and click “registration status,” or click here.
  3. Enter your house number, zip code and date of birth and click submit.

You will then be shown the current status of your ballot, as well as your voter history for prior elections.

Related: Middleton set to join Miller, Bruins on Citrus Heights City Council