The 2020 election has been called the most consequential election of our life times. In a country that has become so divided, it has become clear that every Latino vote counts.Photo: Sebastián González De León

Latino voter turnout for the 2020 election broke records. Of the 8.6 million Latinos who voted early, 2.4 million are first-time voters, according to Latino Decisions, the lead Latino political opinion research center. Many Latinos are now focused on ensuring that all votes are being counted, and educating voters on steps they can take if their vote gets rejected.

Prominent Latino individuals and representatives of advocacy organizations voiced their concerns on Twitter following President Trump’s premature victory announcement early morning of Nov. 4th at the White House. They called attention to the fact that every vote should be counted before a winner is declared. Tweets from MSNBC contributor Maria Teresa Kumar, who is CEO of Voto Latino, noted that “we won’t know the outcome until everyone’s voice has been heard.” Another response came from New York State Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who said “Count the votes. Respect the results.” Former presidential candidate, Julián Castro, added, “Trump has not won this election when all the votes are counted, we will say adiós to Donald Trump.”

More than 300,000 ballots across the country are still missing as of Nov. 4. And the U.S Postal Service has ignored a federal court order to sweep mail processing facilities. Many Latinos are now left wondering if their vote has been counted. 

Latino organizations like Voto Latino advise those who voted by mail to check the status of their ballot. They tweeted helpful links for Latinos to check the status of their ballot in a few states that are still in the process of counting votes.

Tracking your ballot is the easiest way to check if your vote was counted or rejected. Issues with ballot envelope signatures are the most common reason for ballot rejection, according to the board of supervisors of elections.

Studies show that Black and Latino voters are more likely to have their ballots rejected. In North Carolina and Georgia, early data showed that Black and Latino voters are roughly three times as likely to have their ballots rejected as white voters. 

In some states, voters do have a grace period to “cure” their rejected ballots so that they are counted. County boards are to alert voters about any mistakes on their ballot within one business day, and inform them on how to correct it. The ballot curing process must be completed by the state deadline.

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Steph Amaya Mora (she/her/hers) is the Arizona Digital Partner Organizer, based in Phoenix, Arizona. She's Mexican and Salvadoran-American journalist who has volunteered and helped organize with local groups throughout her professional career. She has experience writing stories and producing podcasts for Ability360, the Center for Independent Living in Phoenix, servicing people with disabilities and promoting the center. She has a bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communication from Arizona State University.