LAKE MARY, Fla. - With just a month before the Nov. 3 election, about 5.1 million vote-by-mail ballots had been sent to Floridians --- or were in the process of being sent.
A vote-by-mail ballot refers to a ballot that you request and pick-up or have delivered to you without having to vote at the polls during early voting or on Election Day. A voter must first be registered to vote before he or she can request a vote-by-mail ballot.
In Florida, you have to specifically request a mail-in ballot in order to receive one. A request for a vote-by-mail ballot may be made in one of the following ways:
- Online application on your county Supervisors of Elections' website;
- By other writing (e.g., by email, fax, mail) to Supervisor of Elections;
- In person at Supervisor of Elections;
- By telephone call to Supervisor of Elections.
To make sure your vote counts, there are several things to know about early voting in Florida and voting by mail in 2020. Here are the basics; scroll down the page for your specific county information.
KEY FLORIDA VOTING DATES:
Registration deadline: Monday, October 5 at 5 p.m. Florida Law requires the voter registration books to close 29 days before each election.
Last day to request a mail-in ballot: Saturday, October 24 at 5 p.m. Florida law says mail-in ballots must be requested by 5 p.m. the 10th day before the election
First day that mail-in ballots are sent out: September 24. Florida law says mail-in ballots are to be sent 40 to 33 days before the election, with military/overseas no later than 45 days before the election.
Mail-in ballots must arrive by: November 3 at 7 p.m. The date on which your ballot is postmarked is irrelevant; it must arrive at the elections office by 7 p.m. the night of the election. You can deliver it by hand if you forget to mail it in time.
CAN YOU STILL GO TO POLLS ON ELECTION DAY?
If the voter decides to go to the polls to vote, the voter should bring the vote-by-mail ballot (marked or not). The vote-by-mail ballot will be canceled and the voter can vote a regular ballot at the polls.
If the voter comes to the polls without the vote-by-mail ballot, the voter can vote a regular ballot if the supervisor of elections' office can confirm that it has not received the voter's vote-by-mail ballot. If it is confirmed that the supervisor of elections office has already received the voted vote-by-mail ballot or it cannot be determined, the voter cannot vote a regular ballot at the polls.
HOW TO TRACK YOUR VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT:
Any voter who has requested a vote-by-mail ballot can track online the status of his or her ballot through a link within the Division of Elections' Voter Information Lookup or through their county Supervisor of Elections' website.
The United States Postal Service also provides a free service called Informed Delivery that allows you to digitally preview the address side of certain mail pieces such as a requested vote-by-mail ballot that will arrive soon at your address.