Oct. 15, 2002 – Thursday is the last opportunity for voters to request a mail-in absentee ballot to cast their votes in the Nov. 5 general election, according to John Abramson, supervisor of Elections.
Abramson said, however, that anyone who will be out of the territory during the election but does not have a specific forwarding address can cast a vote before the election date.
Abramson said he hopes ballots will be available this week so people can execute a vote if they are leaving the territory. "They would deliver it into the ballot box themselves," he said.
Early voting must be done at the Elections offices. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked Nov. 5, Abramson said.
To get an absentee ballot, a friend or family member must fill out an application at the Board of Elections office with the voter's address, board member Ana Davila said. She said the board will then mail the ballot to the voter.
Abramson said the procedure for counting absentee ballots assures that the voting is kept secret. Ten days after the general election, he said, the Board of Elections will separate the white envelopes containing ballots from the voters' affidavits, noting the date and time they were received.
After that, the board will begin to count the ballots. "By the time they get to the ballots in the white envelopes, they have no idea whose ballot belongs to whom," he said.
There are some absentee votes that are not kept secret, Abramson said — those cast by voters who opt to fax their ballots to the Board of Elections on Nov. 5. He said people who choose to do that must sign a waiver giving up their right to secrecy as their votes are tabulated.
Those planning to fax their ballots are still required to fill out an application for an absentee ballot.

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