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Wednesday
Nov022016

These States Allow Early Voters to Change Their Minds

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — With less than a week before Election Day, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump offered some startling advice to early voters who might be second-guessing these selections: Switch your vote.

His target was Democratic voters in particular who have already cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton but may be having a bad case of “buyer's remorse,” he said, calling his suggestion a "public service announcement.”

“In other words, you want to change your vote," he said at a Tuesday campaign rally in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. "So if you live here or in Michigan or Pennsylvania or Minnesota you can change your vote to Donald Trump. We’ll make America great again."

Trump is right that these states are among those with obscure laws allowing some people to change their votes, though it’s not easy. And the rules are sometimes buried within state election law and not easily searchable on state voting websites. Here's what we know:

WISCONSIN


Voters have a right to three ballots in Wisconsin, according to state law. If they vote at the polls or absentee, they are allowed to "cancel" their ballots if they believe they made the wrong choice. "Any elector who, by accident or mistake, spoils or erroneously prepares a ballot may receive another, by returning the defective ballot, but not to exceed 3 ballots in all," state law reads.

The use of the word "any elector" indicates the law is applicable to people voting absentee.

MINNESOTA


Voters in Minnesota no longer have the option of changing their votes. But they did, until the close of business day Tuesday. Voters have until the close of business one week before Election Day to do so, according to rules on the Secretary of State's website.

"You can ask to cancel your ballot until the close of business one week before Election Day," the website reads. "After that time, you cannot cancel your ballot. To cancel your ballot, contact the election office that sent your ballot. Your options are to have a new ballot mailed; vote in person at your local election office; or vote at your polling place on Election Day."

PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania voters can only vote early if they send in an absentee ballot, for which they need to fulfill certain requirements. But Pennsylvania election law stipulates that voters who send in an absentee ballot are allowed to change their vote if they show up in person on Election Day.

MICHIGAN


Like Pennsylvania, Michigan voters only cast ballots early if they do so absentee, which requires certain conditions. But Michigan absentee voters are allowed to obtain a new ballot if they visit their local clerk’s office in person by 4 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7. If they use the new ballot, their first one will not be counted.

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