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Notary Bulletin

Feature

Notarizing mail-in ballots: Preparing Notaries for the November 2020 election

2020 has been a year of challenges for Notaries thanks to COVID-19. The risks of face-to-face personal contact during the pandemic have forced Notaries to adapt and radically change the way they perform their duties, with states adopting emergency rules for remote notarization and widespread use of masks, hand sanitizer and protective screens for in-person notarizations. And as the November presidential election draws closer, Notaries are preparing to face yet another challenge from the coronavirus: a massive surge in voting through mail-in and absentee ballots.

Because of concerns about the possible spread of COVID-19 at polling places, election officials across the nation are preparing for an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots from voters, many of whom want to cast their votes safely from the comfort of their homes. Some states are even providing mail-in ballots automatically for all registered voters.

But there are complications. Some public officials have argued that a surge in voting by mail will bring a significantly higher risk of voter fraud. Some states have reaffirmed or enacted safety measures — including notarization requirements — to prevent possible ballot fraud only to have those same rules challenged in court by groups concerned that too many vote-by-mail ballot requirements will disenfranchise voters. Cost-cutting measures initiated by U.S. Post Office officials sparked a backlash amid concerns that the cutbacks would undermine the mail service’s ability to deliver mail-in ballots in a timely fashion. Many voters are anxious that their ballots could be lost or nullified if problems arise with the mailing process. The list goes on.

Amid these ballot controversies, many voters are likely to seek out Notaries to notarize their ballot applications and the ballots themselves. While not required for absentee and mail-in voting in most states, in some jurisdictions notarization is used to help verify mail-in and absentee ballots and provide a safeguard against possible fraud. But before notarizing a mail-in ballot, Notaries need to know what their state’s rules are. Is notarization required for the ballot, or is it optional? Is the Notary required to administer an oath or affirmation? Is the Notary prohibited from charging a fee for notarizing the ballot?

In this article, we’ll tell you what you should know about notarizing absentee and mail-in ballots, questions you should ask before accepting such a request, and updates about ongoing rules changes and legal challenges for notarizing ballots leading up to the November 2020 general election. We’ve also included an interactive guide to absentee ballot notarization rules for different states to help you find state laws that may affect you.

What Notaries need to know about notarizing absentee and mail-in ballots

You might be surprised to learn that only a few states — including Alaska, Alabama, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Dakota — have notarization requirements for mail-in or absentee ballots. Alaska requires absentee ballots to be signed in the presence of a witness, who must either be 18 years of age or older or an official authorized to administer oaths (which would include a Notary). Maine requires notarization only for absentee ballots that will be delivered or mailed by certain third parties other than the voter. Mississippi requires absentee ballot applications to be notarized, and most ballots must be completed in the presence of an authorized witness such as a Notary. Minnesota and North Carolina — states that normally have a notarization requirement — have suspended notarization requirements for mail-in voting for the November 2020 election (see “COVID-19 ballot complications” below for more details.)

Depending on individual state vote-by-mail laws, a Notary may be asked to perform one or more of the following acts:

  1. Notarize a signature on a mail-in or absentee ballot application
  2. Administer an oath or affirmation to a mail-in or an absentee voter
  3. Witness a mail-in or absentee voter complete their ballot
  4. Notarize a voter’s signature on a ballot envelope after the mail-in or absentee ballot is completed and placed in the envelope.
  5. Administer an oath or affirmation to a voter after the mail-in or absentee ballot is completed and placed in the envelope.

(For specifics on notarization requirements for individual states, see the accompanying infographic and chart.)

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

Ballot Notarization Requirement

Notarization Fee Prohibition

Notarization Requirement Removed

Hover over a state to see additional information on notarization or fee requirements.

Ballot Notarization Requirements by State

Alaska
Absentee/Mail-in Ballot Notarization: Alaska absentee ballots must be signed in the presence of a witness, who may be a Notary Public (6 Alaska Administrative Code 25.570[e]).
Ballot Notarization Fee Restriction: No.
Alabama
Absentee/Mail-in Ballot Notarization: Voters must sign the affidavit on the envelope that comes with the absentee ballot and have the signature on the affidavit witnessed by either a Notary or 2 witnesses 18 years of age or older (Alabama Code Title 17. Elections § 17-11-9).
Ballot Notarization Fee Restriction: No.
California
Absentee/Mail-in Ballot Notarization: No.
Ballot Notarization Fee Restriction: No fee may be charged to notarize signatures on vote-by-mail ballot identification envelopes or other voting materials (GC 8211[d]).
Florida
Absentee/Mail-in Ballot Notarization: No.
Ballot Notarization Fee Restriction: A Notary may not charge a fee for witnessing a vote-by-mail ballot in an election (FS 117.05[2][b]).
Maine
Absentee/Mail-in Ballot Notarization: Only to witness absentee ballots that will be delivered or returned by certain third persons other than the voter (21-A MRSA Section 754-A, subsection 2). Instructions are found in the Maine Notary Public Handbook and Resource Guide, pages 14 and 15. A Notary who is unfamiliar with Maine’s election laws (21-A MRSA) should not undertake the execution of absentee ballots.
Ballot Notarization Fee Restriction: No.
Massachusetts
Absentee/Mail-in Ballot Notarization: No.
Ballot Notarization Fee Restriction: No fee shall be charged by a Notary to notarize a signature on an absentee ballot identification envelope or other voting materials (GL 222, Sec. 23).
Minnesota
Absentee/Mail-in Ballot Notarization: Minnesota’s notarization requirement (Minn. Stat. §§ 203B.07) has been suspended by the Secretary of State for the November 2020 general election.
Ballot Notarization Fee Restriction: No.
Mississippi
Absentee/Mail-in Ballot Notarization: Absentee ballot applications must be notarized or sworn and subscribed to before another official authorized to witness absentee balloting (Miss. Code Ann. §23-15-715(b)). Applications for voters with a temporary or permanent physical disability may be witnessed and signed by a person age 18 or older in place of notarization.

Once received, an absentee ballot must be completed in view of a qualified attesting witness such as a Notary Public or other authorized officer. When complete, the voter must fill out and sign the Elector’s Certificate on the back of the envelope. A Notary acting as the witness must then sign the Attesting Witness Certificate on the envelope and include the Notary’s title and address, but the Notary’s seal is not required (Mississippi Code § 23-15-631 (b) and (c)). Voters with temporary or permanent physical disabilities may have their ballot and envelope witnessed and signed by a person age 18 or older instead of a Notary.
Ballot Notarization Fee Restriction: Notaries may not charge fees for notarizing absentee ballot applications or envelopes (1 MAC Pt. 5, R. 050.5.10[C]).
Missouri
Absentee/Mail-in Ballot Notarization: Yes. Missouri has two alternatives for in-person voting:
1) Absentee ballots for eligible voters who meet specific requirements.
2) Optional mail-in ballots for all other registered voters for the November 2020 election only. All mail-in ballots require the ballot envelope to be notarized. Absentee ballots require the ballot envelope to be notarized, except for absentee voters with a qualifying medical condition, who have contracted or are in an at-risk category for contracting COVID-19, living in a long-term care facility, or age 65 and older.
Ballot Notarization Fee Restriction: No fee may be charged for notarizing an absentee ballot envelope (RSMo 486.685.5). While a fee may be charged for notarizing a mail-in ballot envelope, the Secretary of State has provided contact information for MO Notaries offering free services for mail-in ballots.
Other: A lawsuit has been filed to remove the notarization requirement before the November 2020 election.
North Carolina
Absentee/Mail-in Ballot Notarization: The state has removed its requirement for absentee ballots to be witnessed by a Notary for the November 2020 election – instead, only a single non-Notary witness is required.
Ballot Notarization Fee Restriction: A Notary may not charge any fee for witnessing and affixing a notarial seal to an absentee ballot application or certificate (GS 10B-30[d]).
Oklahoma
Absentee/Mail-in Ballot Notarization: A voter’s signature on the absentee voter affidavit must be notarized (26 O.S. §14-108). During COVID-19, any absentee voters may attach a copy of a valid ID to the affidavit envelope as an alternative to notarization. Physically incapacitated voters and voters at high risk from COVID-19 may use 2 witnesses for their affidavit instead of notarization.
Ballot Notarization Fee Restriction: Oklahoma Notaries are not allowed to charge a fee to notarize an absentee ballot affidavit (26 O.S. §14-108 and 49 O.S. §5).
Other Restrictions: Notaries must keep a journal record of all absentee ballot affidavits notarized (26 O.S. §14-108.1). State law only allows a Notary to notarize up to twenty (20) absentee ballot affidavits outside the Notary’s regular place of business during a single election. To notarize more, permission must be obtained from a county election board secretary (26 O.S. §14-108.1).
Pennsylvania
Absentee/Mail-in Ballot Notarization: No.
Ballot Notarization Fee Restriction: Pennsylvania Notaries may not charge a fee for notarizing the supporting affidavit for an Emergency Absentee Ballot or the affidavit of a person needing assistance to vote an absentee ballot (51 Pa.C.S. § 9101).
Rhode Island
Absentee/Mail-in Ballot Notarization: Rhode Island has removed its notarization requirement for voting by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ballot Notarization Fee Restriction: No.
South Dakota
Absentee/Mail-in Ballot Notarization: Absentee ballot applications must either be notarized or include a copy of an acceptable photo ID (SDCL 12-19-2). However, this requirement has been waived for military voters and U.S. citizens residing outside the United States.
Ballot Notarization Fee Restriction: Notaries cannot charge a fee for notarizing a request for an absentee ballot (SDCL 18-1- 9).
Virginia
Absentee/Mail-in Ballot Notarization: No.
Ballot Notarization Fee Restriction: Any person appointed as a member of an electoral board or a general registrar shall be prohibited from collecting any fee as a Notary during the term of such appointment. Any person appointed as an assistant registrar or officer of election shall be prohibited from collecting a fee as a Notary for services relating to the administration of elections or the election laws (COV 47.1-19[C]).
Wisconsin
Absentee/Mail-in Ballot Notarization: No.
Ballot Notarization Fee Restriction: Notaries may not charge a fee for administering or certifying any official oath, or any oath to any person relative to his right to be registered or to vote (WS 887.02[2]).

Notaries must also be careful because voters may not know the notarization to ask for, and clear instructions may not always be provided. For example, in Alabama, voters must complete an affidavit on the outside of the ballot envelope. The affidavit must be signed and either notarized with a jurat or witnessed by two individuals. However, Alabama NNA Notary Ambassador Michelle Riley said she received contradictory instructions from state officials when she asked how to complete the jurat on the envelope.

“A representative at the Board of Elections told me Notaries do not need to affix their seal on the affidavit, just sign and administer an oath or affirmation," Riley said. "That didn’t sit well with me, so I contacted their legal department and asked them to confirm or clarify what I was told."

As Riley’s story demonstrates, if you are commissioned in a state with a notarization requirement for absentee or mail-in ballots, it’s extremely important to familiarize yourself with all your state’s rules and requirements before you accept a notarization request from a voter. For example, Oklahoma has strict rules for mail-in ballots. In Oklahoma, a state law limits mobile Notaries to a maximum of 20 ballots notarized outside the Notary’s principal place of business per election. If an Oklahoma Notary wants to offer ballot notarization services in multiple counties, the Notary would need to ask permission from the election board in each county, said Misha Mohr, a spokesperson for the state Election Board. In addition, Oklahoma Notaries who notarize absentee ballots also must keep a log or journal of these notarizations even though it’s not required for other notarizations.

Also be aware that some states permit alternatives to notarization of absentee and mail-in ballots. For example, South Dakota voters may include a photocopy of an acceptable photo ID with an absentee ballot application in place of notarization. A Mississippi voter who is temporarily or permanently physically disabled can have their signature on the application witnessed by a person age 18 or older instead. Voters who have physical, health or other issues that would make appearing before a Notary problematic should check with their state agency in charge of elections to see if they may use other options when voting by mail.

Fee restrictions for notarizing absentee and mail-in ballots

Some states prohibit Notaries from charging a fee for notarizations related to mail-in and absentee voting. One such state is Missouri, where state law prohibits Notaries from charging for notarizing the signature on any absentee ballot or absentee voter registration (RSMo 486.685.5).

Even some states that don’t have a notarization requirement for ballots still prohibit Notaries from collecting fees for notarizing voter-related materials. While California does not require notarization for its absentee ballots, state law prohibits Notaries from charging fees for notarizing signatures on voting materials. The statute specifically mentions vote-by-mail identification envelopes in the prohibition (GC 8211[d]). Florida prohibits its Notaries from charging a fee for witnessing a vote-by-mail ballot in an election (FS 117.05[2][b]). If you are asked to notarize any documents related to voting materials, be sure to check your state’s laws first to avoid wrongly charging any fees prohibited under statute.

COVID-19 ballot complications

The COVID-19 pandemic has added new challenges to the 2020 election process. One is that Notaries meeting voters in person to notarize vote-by-mail applications, ballots or other elections materials must implement safety precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Notaries should always follow any instructions from local and state health authorities regarding social distancing and use of personal protective equipment such as masks and hand sanitizer when meeting to notarize ballot materials. This is especially important if the voter is elderly or has an existing health condition that could be made worse by COVID-19.

COVID-19 has also touched off a political debate about widespread use of mail-in and absentee voting.

COVID-19 has also touched off a political debate about widespread use of mail-in and absentee voting. Because of fears of potential contagion and virus spread at public polling places, some voters, politicians and organizations have called for increased availability of mail-in voting and the removal of notarization requirements and other related restrictions. Some supporters of increased mail-in voting contend that notarization and other security requirements create an additional burden for impoverished or minority voters trying to vote by mail. Opponents have argued that removing these requirements increases the risk of ballot fraud. During this debate, state officials have struggled to find a balance between voter safety and ballot security.

This has resulted in changes this year to mail-in and absentee voter procedures in many states, including the following:

Minnesota: Due to COVID-19 concerns, Minnesota has removed its requirement that registered voters must have a Notary or a witness sign their absentee ballot envelopes for the November 2020 general election.

Missouri: Prior to 2020, Missouri allowed absentee voting only for certain voters who met the state’s eligibility requirements.

This year, Senate Bill 631 expanded eligibility for voting by mail. For the upcoming November 2020 election, Missouri divides vote-by-mail options into two categories:

Absentee ballots: These are vote-by-mail ballots provided to voters who meet specific eligibility requirements, such as incapacity or confinement due to illness, religious belief, employment as an election authority or voters who must keep their address confidential for safety concerns.

Mail-in ballots: This is a second vote-by-mail category added under the new law. It allows registered voters who do not meet the eligibility requirements for a Missouri absentee ballot to still vote by mail in the November 2020 election.

“Some absentee ballots need to be notarized, while all mail-in ballots need to be notarized,” said Maura Browning, Director of Public Affairs and Strategic Communications at the Missouri Secretary of State’s office. To be exact, the ballot envelope — not the ballot itself — must be notarized. Absentee ballot envelopes in Missouri must be notarized unless the absentee voter has a qualifying medical condition, such as having contracted or being at risk of contracting COVID-19, lives in a long-term care facility, or is age 65 or older.

Earlier in 2020, the NAACP and ACLU of Missouri sued the state to block notarization requirements for mail-in and absentee ballots, arguing that requiring voters to contact a Notary is a potential health risk due to COVID-19. The suit is still ongoing, but at press time notarization requirements remain in place.

North Carolina: To address COVID-19 concerns for the November 2020 general election, North Carolina has suspended its requirement for absentee ballots to be completed in the presence of a Notary Public or two non-Notary witnesses. North Carolina absentee ballots for the November 2020 election must be completed in the presence of a single, non-Notary witness.

North Carolina officials said any reference to Notaries or notarization as one of the witnessing requirements has been removed from mail-in ballot envelopes for the November 2020 election. If a North Carolina Notary is asked to serve as a witness by an absentee voter, they may do so but only as a witness, not in their official capacity as a Notary, said North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, the state’s top Notary official.

However, questions about requesting, completing or mailing an absentee ballot should be directed to the state Board of Elections, as the North Carolina Secretary of State’s office regulates Notaries, but does not manage the state’s election process.

Oklahoma: As a temporary measure for the 2020 general election only, Oklahoma passed Senate Bill 210, an emergency statute, allowing a voter to have the affidavit on “yellow stripe” absentee ballots notarized as usual or to include a copy of their ID with the ballot instead.

Rhode Island: Earlier this year, Rhode Island’s requirement to complete a mail-in ballot in the presence of two witnesses or a Notary was challenged in court by groups including the ACLU and the League of Women Voters of Rhode Island. State officials chose to suspend the two witness/Notary requirement. The consent agreement was challenged in turn by state and national Republican organizations. The dispute was settled in August by the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld Rhode Island’s decision to suspend the notarization and witnessing requirements. This means that for Rhode Island’s September 8 primary election and the November 3 general election, persons who vote by mail do not need to complete their ballot in the presence of a Notary or witnesses.

“Because the requirement has been waived, the witness/Notary section on oath envelopes has been removed to prevent confusion for voters,” said Nick Domings, Deputy Communications Director for the Rhode Island Department of State. “In its place, we have provided an optional field for voters to provide either their driver’s license/state-issued ID number, or the last four digits of their Social Security number.”

Officials anticipate a major surge in voting by mail

With COVID-19 still widespread in the United States, election officials are predicting a significantly larger number of requests to vote by mail this year than in previous elections.

“We launched our absentee ballot request service on August 17, and already had more than 20,000 requests for absentee ballots on the first day,” said Kristen Muszynski, Communications Director with the Maine Secretary of State’s office. “By comparison, in 2016 we received 120 requests on the first day of making the service live.”

Domings said Rhode Island is already seeing a major surge in voting by mail. “We anticipate a much higher volume of mail-in ballots this year,” he said. “In our June 2 presidential primary, mail-in ballots accounted for 83 percent of all votes cast.” Domings said the average rate of mail-in ballots for past presidential primaries in Rhode Island has averaged at around 3 percent.

In anticipation of overwhelming demand to vote by mail, California and Nevada have announced that they will provide all registered voters in those states with mail-in ballots automatically. Others, such as Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin, are sending mail-in ballot applications to their registered voters. Kentucky is allowing any registered voter to request an absentee ballot, while Alabama and Tennessee have extended vote-by-mail eligibility to persons at risk to contract COVID-19.

How Notaries are volunteering to help in the November 2020 election

Given the anticipated surge in demand for requests to vote by mail, election officials in some states have reached out to Notaries to ask for help assisting voters — and Notaries have been stepping up to help.

Notary and NNA Notary Ambassador® Michelle Riley has been seeking out Notaries willing to notarize mail-in ballots free of charge and training them how to notarize mail-in ballots correctly in conjunction with the National Lawyers Guild.

“I feel that we can provide a true service to our community by notarizing voting materials without charging a fee,” Riley said, adding that Notaries in her area are getting an unusually high number of requests for help notarizing mail-in ballots.

“Folks are reaching out to us, and I think more people are taking advantage of voting by mail due to COVID-19. Folks are being quarantined. For some people, voting by mail will be their only option to vote,” she said.

“Given what’s going on with COVID-19, more people are going to want to vote absentee than usual, especially in underserviced communities,” said Birmingham, Alabama attorney David Gespass, who helped Riley organize her Notary election outreach and training programs. “The challenge, particularly in underserved communities, is properly filling out and authenticating ballots with a Notary or witnesses. While I don’t want to give too much credence to mass fraud allegations, that potential exists for abuse. We want to be sure ballots are filled out properly and authenticated by a Notary so there’s no question at the end. A Notary, who is a public officer specifically trained to prevent fraud, ameliorates these concerns completely.”

(Alabama Notaries who wish to take Riley’s training class or volunteer to assist voters by offering free notarizing services can contact Notaries for Alabama by email at Michelle@NotariesforAlabama.com or by phone at (205) 626-9399. — The Editors)

Normally, Missouri law does not allow Notaries to charge for absentee ballot notarizations. However, the new expanded mail-in ballot law, SB 631, did not require free notarizations for the newly added category of mail-in ballots. As a result, the Missouri Secretary of State’s office has published a list of Notaries offering free services to assist Missouri voters to find a Notary Public to notarize their absentee or mail-in ballot envelopes. Many Missouri Notaries, such as Kendra L. Corr of Cottleville, have volunteered to provide free notarization services for absentee and mail-in ballots, and have submitted their contact information to be made available on the Missouri Secretary of State’s website so voters can easily find Notary services.

Notary law expert Bill Anderson discusses 4 important steps when notarizing vote-by-mail ballots.

“I have volunteered in every presidential election since 1988 in some way, shape or form, and wanted to do my part,” Corr said. While she said she personally doesn’t think mail-in voting has an increased risk of fraud, she wants to be available to help voters in her state ensured that their mail-in ballots are properly counted and completed.

“I’m thankful my state has recently added this option, but it’s confusing — the Secretary of State has a good, clear explanation on their website, but I’m concerned that voters will go by hearsay, what they read on social media, etc., and perhaps their vote won’t be counted,” Corr said. “I feel voting is our most fundamental right as Americans, regardless of party, and it should not be hard to vote!”

The state of Oklahoma has also published an online directory for voters seeking Notary services, and Notaries who wish to volunteer to be added to the directory can email their information here. The state has also published an FAQ for notarizing ballots and information on absentee ballot harvesting laws for Notaries.

Four things to know before notarizing for someone voting by mail

While voting in 2020 has become complicated, knowing the following important information will keep you on track when asked to notarize mail-in or absentee ballots:

1. Confirm whether your state requires absentee or mail-in ballots to be notarized. Remember that in most states, notarization is not required to apply for or vote absentee or by mail-in ballots. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your state’s Notary laws so you will know if notarization is required and if so, with the proper steps for notarizing vote-by-mail materials are in your state.

2. Be sure you know which voting materials must be notarized and how to properly notarize them. Remember that different states may require different documents to be notarized. Some states may require a voter’s signature to be notarized on the application to request an absentee or mail-in ballot. Others require the voter to sign an affidavit and have the signature notarized before submitting the ballot. If a signer isn’t sure what kind of notarization they need, have them contact your local or state elections agency to ask for instructions.

3. Only charge for notarizing absentee and mail-in ballots if your state permits it. Do not charge a fee for notarizing vote-by-mail related materials if your state law prohibits it.

4. Don’t answer questions about requesting, completing or mailing a mail-in or absentee ballot. Remember, Notaries are not permitted to provide unauthorized advice to signers about the documents they notarize. This includes vote-by-mail and absentee ballots. If a signer has questions about how to ask for, complete or submit an absentee ballot, do not try to answer yourself. Direct the signer to contact the appropriate local or state election agency to request assistance.

Additional resources for voters:

If you are a voter looking for information on absentee or mail-in ballot procedures, you can contact your state election agency or visit the links for the following organizations. Please note that this information is provided by organizations outside the NNA and may be subject to change between now and the November 2020 election:

League of Women Voters Vote 411: Voting information by state

Ballotpedia 2020 Absentee/mail-in voting information by state

FiveThirtyEight: How To Vote In The 2020 Election


Related Articles

A guide to state vote-by-mail ballot notarization requirements


17 Comments

Add your comment

Cynthia E Howell

12 Oct 2020

How do I become a notary

National Notary Association

12 Oct 2020

Hello. You can find more information about becoming a Notary here: https://www.nationalnotary.org/knowledge-center/about-notaries/how-to-become-a-notary-public

Tracy Wilson

12 Oct 2020

I would like to volunteer to help Missouri voters.

National Notary Association

12 Oct 2020

Hello. If you would like to be added to the list of Missouri Notaries volunteering to assist voters, please email Laura.Lewis@sos.mo.gov to request to be added to the list.

Marietta M. Hager

12 Oct 2020

I have a question regarding mail in ballots I am from GREENE CO, Missouri and I had someone present a mail in ballot to me the instructions on it for the notary was sign my name and date of my commission do not stamp it, it had a stamp on it COVID-19, NOTARY SEAL not needed is this correct no seal needed just my signature and commission date?

National Notary Association

14 Oct 2020

Hello Marietta. We forwarded your question to the Missouri Secretary of State's office. They suggested you contact Chrissy Peters at the state Elections Division at 573-526-3986 for help answering your questions.

Theresa Shannon

12 Oct 2020

I am concerned about voters who requested an absentee ballot and are from Another state like California but, are in the State of Nevada asking me A Nevada Notary to travel as a Mobile Notary to them. As I read your article I can not charge a fee. Does that mean: 1. I am obligated to risk Covid- spend money and time to go to them ( or risk being accused of discrimination by declining). 2. I can not charge the travel fee? 3. I would like to see a California ballot - is the Notary Section pre printed with California as the Jurisdiction? If so- will my correction be accepted? ( single line with initials). We have visitors from all over the USA so is this article a complete list of requirements for each State?

National Notary Association

12 Oct 2020

Hello. During COVID-19, Notaries should follow state and local health safety directives. If you are not feeling well, or have reason to believe a signer is not well or may pose a risk of spreading COVID-19, it's OK to decline the notarization. Please see here for more information: https://www.nationalnotary.org/notary-bulletin/blog/2020/05/3-things-notaries-avoid-covid-19 The article includes all the current information we have about state notarization ballot/ballot notarization fee requirements for the November 2020 election. If information changes for a state prior to the election, we will do our best to update the article as quickly as possible.

m

12 Oct 2020

Kind of a useless article--should be general knowledge stuff for any notary. How about covering actual nuts and bolts of the job, such as how to deal with California's requirement of EXACT jurat wording when notarizing a ballot? Or the requirement for the stamp to not be touching text when there's no room on the ballot envelope?

Teresa Villanueva

12 Oct 2020

I would like training for voters notorizion, and volunteer.

Alaedin Mustafa

12 Oct 2020

I would like to volunteer to help Texas voters

Melanie Waite

14 Oct 2020

Can I notarize a mail-in ballot for a family member or relative in the state of Missouri?

National Notary Association

16 Oct 2020

Hello. “A notary shall be disqualified from performing a notarial act if the notary… [is] a spouse, domestic partner, ancestor, descendant, or sibling of the principal, including in-law, step, and half relatives” (RSMo 486.645.3[3]).

Wendy Lang

18 Oct 2020

Where do I sign on the envelope if I am voting absentee ballot and do not need a notary

National Notary Association

19 Oct 2020

Hello Wendy. Your state should provide instructions on how to sign, complete and mail an absentee ballot. If you were not provided with instructions in your absentee ballot package, please contact your state election board or election agency or visit their website and they should be able to provide you with guidance.

Jamie

22 Oct 2020

I had a Missouri mail-in ballot notarized today. On the envelope in the notary section she signed her name, todays date and Commission expiration date only. She left he Official Capacity line blank, and she did not use a seal of any kind. I would like to know if this is correct before submitting my ballot? Thanks

National Notary Association

26 Oct 2020

Hello. According to information provided to us by the Missouri Secretary of State's office, Missouri Notaries must complete the form on the ballot envelope, and must affix the Notary seal to the envelope.

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