County voters cast hundreds of absentee ballots

Suzette Lowe
Jackson Newspapers

Hundreds of ballots have been received at the Jackson County Clerk’s office for the general election scheduled for Nov. 3.

According to County Clerk Cheryl Bright, 1,745 absentee ballots have been sent out to those requesting them thus far. As of Oct. 7, a total of 974 of those have been returned.

While the number of requests is not as high as in the primary election, Bright said it is still much more than normal.

“In the primary election, we sent out cards to every registered voter in the county offering them the absentee ballot option,” she said. “This was during the early stages of the pandemic. This election required the voter to follow normal procedures which is to call to request a ballot or go online and get an application.”

Once the request is made for the ballot, the name is logged into the voter registration system with the date requested, how the request was received, when and how the ballot was sent, and the address to which it was mailed. When the ballot is received, that information is updated with the date and how it was delivered.

“A lot of people, of course, mail the ballot back,” Bright said. “But several also hand deliver.”

The ballots are then placed in locked boxes and stored in a secure area until they are ready to be counted.

Bright said there are checks and balances to the process.

“Absentee voting is nothing new,” Bright said. “It’s been around a long time. The only difference is now we receive hundreds where, prior to this pandemic, we probably got around 150.”

Applications for absentee ballots must be received in the clerk’s office no later than Oct. 28.

“They have to be in hand by Oct. 28,” Bright stressed. “We cannot send out a ballot if the request is received later than that, even if it’s postmarked the 28th.”

Other dates to remember:

• Oct. 21-31 – Early voting at the Jackson County courthouse and Ravenswood Library (M-F 8:30-4:30, Saturday 9-5)

• Nov. 2 – Last day to hand-deliver absentee ballots to county clerk’s office

• Nov. 3 – Election day, polls open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Deadline for absentee ballots returned by mail to be postmarked.

For information on absentee ballots or any other election matter, call the clerk’s office at 304-373-2250 or go online to