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VERIFY: Here are the deadlines for mail-in ballots and when ballots will be processed around the DC area

The Verify team is here to make sure you have all the facts about this election.


When will ballots be counted and when will the process be done?


It depends on where you live.


The D.C. Board of Elections official calendars and regulations

The Maryland Board of Elections official calendar and regulations

The Virginia’s Department of Elections official calendar and regulations


Washington, D.C.

D.C. Board of Elections’ Chairman, Michael Bennett, told our researcher's mail-in ballots, ballots collected from drop boxes, and ballots collected from early voting will be processed starting October 27. That's when early voting starts in the city.

Bennett said if a voter is asked to cast a “special ballot” because of an administrative issue or voter eligibility concern, those ballots are treated a little differently.

He said, “special ballots" are counted after the election is over or after the last day and that’s so we can verify and to make sure that they’re valid ballots.”

According to D.C. law and the Board of Elections Calendar of Events, the city has 10 days to validate those ballots, so the deadline is November 12th.

D.C. has until November 16 to count all ballots, and until November 24 to certify and release final election results.

RELATED: VERIFY: Your absentee ballot won't be automatically rejected if you tape it shut instead of licking it


In Maryland, absentee ballots are called “mail-in ballots.”

A spokesperson for the Maryland Board of Elections said it started processing “mail-in ballots” and ballots picked up from drop boxes on Oct. 1. 

LIST: Here's where you can drop off your Maryland mail-in ballots.

Officials told our researchers Maryland will not start processing provisional ballots until after the election on November 12/  

Maryland’s Election Law gives election officials until November 13 to certify those results on the local level and send them to the state.

The State Board of Canvassers has until December 8th to certify final results.

RELATED: VERIFY: Here's what you should do if you receive more than one ballot in DC


A spokesperson for the Department of Elections said when ballots are processed is going to depend on where you vote.

Christopher Piper, the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections, said election officers can run absentee ballots through voting machines ahead of the election, but can’t officially start counting results until November 3rd.

Piper told our Verify team Virginia results have to be certified by November 16th.