Election night is a week away and there's already a problem with ballots in Grant County, Washington.

How the Ballot is Supposed to Work

You know the drill: Fill out your ballot, put it in the security envelope, and then place it in a larger envelope to drop in the ballot box.

Easy enough.

What's Wrong with Grant County Election Ballots?

This week, voters in Grant County filled out their ballots and tried to put it in the security envelope - but the ballot was too big.

The ballots fit into the larger envelope, but not the security envelope which obscures the contents - in this case, the way someone voted.

You can see where this becomes a problem.

How Do I Vote if the Ballot Won't Fit the Envelope?

Your first instinct will be to fold the ballot so that it fits the security envelope. But you may wonder if your vote will still count if you do that.

Grant County Auditor Michele Jaderlund says that's exactly what you do. In a press release she tells the "ballot recipient to manually fold the final ballot to fit into the security envelope upon voting and mailing."

And yes, your vote will count.

 So, the Machines Will Still Be Able to Read the Ballots?

Apparently so.

Will This Happen Again?

Not if Grant County can help it.

How the Grant County Ballot News Could Still be a Problem

I hope it's not. But in a year when a third of the United States doesn't trust election results, it's the kind of news item that opportunistic politicians, wanting to cast doubt on this election, might try to exploit.

Likewise, it's easy to imagine a talking head on cable news blowing the mishap out of proportion.

What You Can Do if You Live in Grant County

Spread the word about the easy "one more fold to the ballot" solution.

Don't assume everyone in your friend group has heard the news. They may be confused and frustrated, and they'll thank you for clueing them in.

After all, how people vote is their business, but voting itself is a non-partisan act that nothing - not even a dumb envelope - should stand in the way of.

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