To receive a vote by mail ballot, the voter must complete an application. No voter will receive a ballot through the mail without first completing an application. Voters can complete an election specific application, meaning a ballot will be issued for the current election only, or voters can complete a permanent application, meaning a vote by mail ballot will be mailed for all elections going forward. Once an application has been received and the voter has been verified by the Election Commission, a vote by mail packet is assembled. This packet includes the ballot, specific to the voter, a secrecy envelope, a purple return envelope (specific to the voter and the election) and a white outer envelope. Printed on the purple return envelope is the voter’s name, mailing address, and a unique identifier. This unique identifier is linked to the voter and the ballot packet and is used upon return for validation.
The validation process is completed by a bi-partisan team of trained poll workers. This team of poll workers completes the signature verification process by comparing the signature on file with the signature captured on the purple return envelope. The signature on file was captured at the time of registration. If both judges agree the signatures match, the secrecy envelope containing the ballot will be removed and staged for tabulation. If the judges do not agree the signatures match or if the return envelope is unsigned, the voter is notified of the challenge and given the opportunity to overturn the challenge by providing identification for verification.