The administration of U.S. elections rests almost entirely in the hands of state and local administrators. The federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 established minimum standards of election administration—such as for provisional ballots and voting systems—while leaving control of almost all decisions in the hands of state and local authorities.
Rules, policies, and procedures vary greatly across, and even within, state lines. For example, the process known as ballot harvesting—the nongovernmental collection of ballots by one person or entity on behalf of individual voters—is legal in 26 states.
Furthermore, in 20 states election officials contact voters to give them an opportunity to remedy issues on their ballot return envelope that would otherwise result in the ballot being rejected. This process, often known as ballot or signature curing, helps to ensure that all eligible ballots are counted.
Practices such as ballot harvesting and signature curing might sound concerning without proper context, even though these processes are entirely legal in some states.
If you hear or see something about election administration, check to see what the rules are in your state and always verify that the information is true before sharing it.
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