Is there such a thing as absentee ballot voter remorse? And, if so, is there anything you can do about it before next week’s election?
That was a question many were asking Google to answer over the weekend.
On Friday, the day after the second and final presidential debate, Google Trends, a website where Google posts information about what people are searching for in real-time, began showing a spike in the search phrase “Can you change your vote.”
The trend has continued over the weekend and into this week with web surfers asking not only can you change your vote, but how to do it.
President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday about the trending phrase.
“Strongly Trending (Google) since immediately after the second debate is CAN I CHANGE MY VOTE? This refers changing it to me,” Trump tweeted.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign has not commented on the trending phrase or on recasting votes.
According to Google Trends, the search phrases “can I change my vote in Texas” and “can I change my vote in Florida” were up 250 percent and 200 percent on Tuesday morning.
“Change my vote” had the most interest in Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Minnesota and Pennsylvania, according to Google.
Some 65 million people have already voted, according to The Associated Press, with more than 72 million absentee and mail-in ballots already requested for the Nov. 3 election.
So can you change an absentee ballot after it has been cast?
Most states do not allow voters to make changes to a ballot after it has been submitted, but some states do allow voters to vote in person after getting an absentee ballot.
“In some states, you can submit your ballot, have a change of heart and, and submit a new ballot,” Matthew Weil, director of the Election Project at the Bipartisan Policy Center, told Newsy.
Cindy Emmer, Democratic elections commissioner for the Chemung County (New York) Board of Elections, told WSKG in New York that the state allows such a change.
“Their names are scanned into the system as to who has voted, and, if you have already voted as an absentee ballot, your absentee ballot will not be counted, just your vote on the machine,” Emmer told WSKG.
New York state law says, “Even if you request or cast and return an absentee ballot, you may still go to the polls and vote in person.”
There are four other states that allow voters to change their minds once they have voted by mail.
Connecticut, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin all allow voters to change their absentee vote after they have cast a ballot.
In Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, anyone who voted by absentee ballot can ask for a new one in order to change their vote prior to the election.
In Connecticut, each town sets its own rules for changing a ballot.
In Michigan, you can change your absentee ballot vote up to the morning before the election. If you want to spoil your ballot – throw out the one you have filled out and vote on a new one – you have to do so by 5 p.m. local time on Oct. 30, or in person by 10 a.m. on Nov. 2.
“If there’s enough time, your clerk can cancel your original ballot and give you a new one. Depending on how close you are to Oct. 29 — the legal deadline for requesting absentee ballots by mail — you might need to get your new ballot in person,” the Wisconsin website reads.
In Minnesota, the deadline to cancel an absentee ballot has passed. That deadline was Oct. 20.
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