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VERIFY: Yes, ballots are being accepted after Election Day in many states, but they still must be postmarked by November 3

The Verify team looked into a claim made by President Donald Trump during the first debate, in which he said many states are accepting ballots after Election Day.

WASHINGTON — Question:

Are some states accepting mail-in ballots after Election Day?


Yes. Various states are accepting mail-in ballots after election day, so long as they are postmarked on November 3rd. In some states, the ballots are being accepted for just a couple days after Election Day. For many other states, the ballots are accepted for up to seven or ten days. 

In California, ballots are going to be accepted up to 17 days after Election Day, so long as they are postmarked on November 3rd. 


Vote.Org, Non-Partisan Non-Profit.

Maryland Elections Webpage

Virginia Elections Webpage

DC Elections Webpage

Florida Elections Webpage

Minnesota Elections Webpage

New York Elections Webpage

California Elections Webpage

RELATED: VERIFY: In DC, Maryland, Virginia your mail-in ballot signature does not have to match your DMV signature


During the first presidential debate, President Donald Trump made the following claim about mail-in voting:

"Can you imagine where they say you have to have your ballot in by November 10th," he said. "November 10th. That means -- That's seven days after the election, in theory, should have been announced. We have major states with that." 

To Verify if this is true, the Verify team turned to the election websites for various states across the country. These state-by-state policies are neatly organized on this Vote.Org webpage

The deadlines for when ballots are due differ greatly and do depend on the state. There is a big range as far as when ballots must arrive at the registrar. 

In many states, such as Florida, mail-in ballots must arrive by Election Day to count.

 In states such as Minnesota and New York, ballots will be accepted up to seven days after Election Day, so long as the envelope was postmarked on Election Day. 

This would mean that the ballot is required to arrive by November 10. 

California has the most flexible deadline in the country. 

So long as the ballot is postmarked on Election Day, it will be counted up to 17 days after Election Day. That means the ballot is required to arrive by November 20 to be counted.  

Local Deadlines:

The Verify team also looked to the local election websites in DC, Maryland, and Virginia, to get the local deadlines. 

Yes, your mail-in ballot will be counted if it arrives after Election Day, but ONLY if you're voting through the postal service, it's postmarked by Election Day, and it arrives in time. 

In DC and Maryland, if a ballot is postmarked by Election Day, it will be accepted up until ten days after Election Day. 

That means the ballot is required to arrive by November 13, to be counted. In Maryland, the ballot must arrive by 10 a.m. on November 13. 

According to the Maryland State Board of Elections, applications for mail-in ballots must be received by October 20.

In Virginia, if a ballot is postmarked on Election Day, it will be accepted up to noon on November 6th, three days after Election Day.

Here's the deadlines for those  drop boxes:
In Maryland and DC: You got to get it in on Election Day before 8 pm.
In Virginia- it's Election Day, before 7 p.m.

If you're voting by drop box, they close when the polls close, so they will NOT count after those t8 p.m. or 7 p.m. deadlines on Election Day.

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