This is a complicated and confusing time when it comes to exercising our right to vote. There have been so many questions, not the least of which being ... WHY THE HELL ARE WE DOING THIS??!!!

That question asked (and not answered) people still want to know: Where do I vote? How do I vote? Can I vote at a polling site? If not, how do I trust that my ballot is going where it’s supposed to be going?

After I dropped my ballot in my town’s secure collection box, I had an uneasy feeling. It felt so much sketchier dropping an envelope into a box than pulling the little lever in the voting booth. So whether you mailed your ballot or did what I did and trusted the box, you’re going to feel so much better when you know your ballot was received. That’s why you must track your vote. And it’s simple to do. All you have to do is log onto and fill in the required information using either your Voter ID or driver license number.

(By the way, I had neither of these numbers with me when I checked, but I was able to access my voter ID number by filling out a different page on the website.)

Voila! A couple of clicks later, I saw that my ballot had, in fact, been received. Now don’t get me wrong. I am in no way a fan of the voting-by-mail system and I’m pretty angry that it has to be this way, when we can stand in line at Trader Joe’s but not at the voting booth. But at least I had a little bit more of a sense of security when I tracked my vote.

The Track My Ballot website does remind you that due to historically high volume, ballots deposited in drop boxes may take up to one week to show up as “received.” Mine showed up after five days, though. Ballots sent via U.S. Mail may take up to two weeks to show up as “received.” As out-of-control as we may all feel during this voting-by-mail fiasco, you can feel just a little more confident that your vote will actually be counted if you track it.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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