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3 Tips for Not Screwing Up Your Mail-In Ballot

Someday when I'm not on this planet any longer, my kids are going to go through all my stuff and find out just how many duplicates I have of things. Staplers, flashlights, books of the same title, external hard drives, journals started with just a few pages.... It's going to be like an egg hunt! It must be genetic. When my mom died, we found 44 rolls of scotch tape gathered from every nook and cranny of the house!

Tape isn't a high-priced item but consider the cost of losing the check you wrote to pay your property taxes. Yep. I did that one. Found it two months past the due date when the county wanted to know where their money was. I found the check, all ready to be put into the mailbox, stamp and all, behind my desk cozying up with a pile of dust bunnies. That loss cost me $350 in late fees. Ouch!

But consider the cost of losing your election ballot. This year we have the option to vote by mail, which is a blessing and a curse. If you are in the habit of going to the polls to vote in person and are willing to stand in line and have some physical distancing time with your neighbors, then you're all good. But let's imagine the more common scenario. It's 5 PM on election day and you are rushing around trying to find your ballot. The kids are hungry, you are hungry, you had a tough day at work, it's getting dark, and you cannot find your ballot...anywhere! It's too late to call the local election office to find out what to do, so you succumb to the glass of wine that is calling you and leave the voting up to the other "more organized" people who keep track of their ballot.

You wake up the next morning to find that the school bond that will impact your kids' school district didn't pass by a narrow margin. Your vote mattered. Or the police chief who is aligned with your values lost by 50 votes. Your vote mattered. Or the president who supports the health care bill that keeps you out of bankruptcy wins. Your vote mattered.

Every vote matters, so it pays big time to keep track of your ballot. Here are a few quick tips:

-Make a box near your front door where you put all your election mail, including your ballot

-Tell someone where you put your ballot

-Set a reminder to fill out your ballot, with a note on where you put it

Do you have any special tricks for keeping track of things like tax bills, ballots, and...tape? Share them here so we can help each other.

PS. Check out this book by my friend Marilyn Paul and learn how to keep track of your keys (and much more) ...after you make a home for your ballot!

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All my regular mail, election stuff, coupons, catalogs, etc. go in one basket. My bills go in a separate one. Just have to remember to go through the big basket periodically to get rid of things that are no longer relevant.

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