Voting by mail ensures you don’t have to choose between your right to vote and keeping yourself, your community, our healthcare workers, first responders, and seniors safe. Florida has a no-excuse vote-by-mail system, which means that any voter can request a vote-by-mail ballot without providing a reason.
It can be confusing to see conflicting information in the news regarding voting by mail. I’d like to take the time to debunk some of the common myths surrounding vote-by-mail and tell you how you can do it in three easy steps: request, receive, and return!
Reminder: In order to vote-by-mail in the general election, you must request your mail-in ballot no later than Saturday, October 29, at 5 p.m.
Any voter in Florida can request a vote-by-mail ballot. Voting by mail is easy: you can sign up online, and it only takes a few clicks. It is also convenient as a ballot is sent directly to you by your Supervisor of Elections, and you can return it at your convenience.
You should receive your ballot soon after filing your request, as they are mailed two business days after the request has been received. One of the best things about voting by mail is that with your ballot in hand, you can research each and every candidate. Voting by mail gives you a unique opportunity to vet each vote, whether you do it in one afternoon or get input from your friends, family, and community members (but don’t wait too long!). Your ballot will have specific instructions on how to fill it out and send it back.
Once you get your ballot, be sure to send it in as soon as you can to ensure your Supervisor of Elections receives it in time! This means mailing it in at least 5 days prior to election day. If for some reason, you are not able to mail it in 5 days before the election, you can take it to your Supervisor of Elections office before 7 p.m. on Election Day to make sure your vote is counted!
Some counties cover the return postage, and most post offices will bill the county for insufficient postage. Check with your elections Office and ensure appropriate postage before mailing in your ballot. If your county doesn’t cover postage, you only need one US forever stamp to mail your ballot. You can also return your ballot at early voting locations or your local elections office.
Every vote-by-mail ballot is counted. You can even confirm that your ballot was received and counted after casting your vote by tracking it on your county’s Supervisor of Elections’ website!
Upon receipt, county Supervisor of Elections offices verify the signature on the ballot envelope to ensure it matches the one they have on file. Ballots that are missing signatures or have mismatched signatures are flagged immediately and a staff member from the Elections office will contact the voter to correct the issue as soon as possible to validate the ballot. It is very rare for a ballot to be rejected, the rejection rate is less than 1% in Florida.
Have questions about voting in the Aug. 18 primary and Nov. 3 general elections? Email me at [email protected]! Have you already made your plan to vote? Share this post with five friends, family members, and neighbors to make sure that all Floridians exercise their right to vote in 2020!