Vote-by-Mail FAQ

June 2020 Newletter

Vote-by-Mail FAQ

How do I sign up to vote by mail?
•    Online at
•    By phone at 1-800-851-8754
•    By written request mailed to PO Box 300, Dade City FL 33526. Be sure to include your name, date of birth or voter information # and your signature.

May I request ballots for my family and/or neighbors?
•    You may request a vote-by-mail ballot for anyone in your immediate family or anyone for whom you are a legal guardian by calling 1-800-851-8754.  You will be asked the voter's name, date of birth and address, as well as your name, address, driver license number (if available), and your relationship to the voter. 

When will I receive my ballot? 
•    Ballots are mailed approximately 40 days prior to an election. 
•    If your vote-by-mail request has been made in advance of an election, you will automatically receive your ballot about 40 days before the election date.
•    If you make your request today, and it is within the 40-day timeframe prior to an election, your request will be processed within 24 hours. You should receive the ballot within days of your request.

Does your office really look at every signature on every ballot?
•    Yes! We receive voted vote-by-mail ballots daily through the USPS. Every single ballot is matched up to the voter's record and their signature is compared to what is on file. 
   Should I worry about my ballot being rejected because of an issue with my signature?
•    If we receive your ballot and it is not signed, we will notify you. You will be required to complete a form called an Omitted Signature Affidavit for Vote-by-Mail Ballot. The form will be due back in our office no later than 5:00 p.m. on the second day after an election, and your ballot will be tabulated. 
•    If we verify your signature on your ballot, and we feel there is a significant difference in that signature and the one on file with our office, we will notify you. You will be required to complete a Signature Cure Affidavit for Vote-by-Mail Ballot. The form will be due back in our office no later than 5:00 p.m. on the second day after an election, and your ballot will be tabulated.     

Why am I asked to supply personal contact information on the outside of my vote-by-mail envelope? I am not comfortable with my personal information going through the mail.
•    We are required by Florida Law to request this information. The purpose is so that we can easily and readily contact you in case there is an issue verifying your signature or you forgot to sign your ballot. See previous FAQ. 
•    Supplying this information is optional and we understand your hesitancy; however, our ability to contact you can sometimes be the difference between your ballot being tabulated or not. 
   What happens to my ballot after my signature is verified and accepted?
•    Your ballot will remain sealed and will be filed alphabetically by precinct. It will then be stored in a locked vault where it will remain until the first day of canvassing which happens the week prior to an election. 

What methods are in place to ensure a stranger is not requesting a ballot using my name?
•    For any vote-by-mail ballot request, you are required to supply your date of birth and to verify your address of record. While it is true someone other than yourself could supply that information to the elections' office, the odds are that a stranger would NOT be able to duplicate your signature and pass the verification process. 
•    If there is ever a question, we have the capability to "retrieve" the sealed ballot before tabulation and investigate.
   How does the elections office keep track of who was mailed a ballot, and what keeps people from requesting more than one ballot?
•    Your request is entered into your voter registration record when it is processed. If a second request is made, the software automatically alerts the processor that a ballot has already been mailed.

How will I know if my ballot has reached your office in time to be counted?
•    You can track your ballot from our website, with the option to receive text or e-mail notifications.
•    You can call our office 1-800-851-8754 for a status update. 

What if I will be out of state during the time preceding the election?
•    Vote-by-mail ballots are not forwardable by the USPS, so you will have to notify the elections office if you need the ballot mailed to a different address. Florida law (F.S. 101.62) requires this request to be in writing and must be signed. 
•    The signature on your written request will be compared to your signature on your voter registration record. If your signature matches, we will send your vote-by-mail ballot to the address you include in your written request.
•    Written requests should be mailed to PO Box 300, Dade City FL 33526.

What does it mean to "canvas" my ballot?
•    It is a formal process which is overseen by the county canvassing board which is composed of the supervisor of elections, a county court judge, and a county commissioner. 
•    It is when your ballot is removed from the sealed certificate envelope and put through the ballot tabulators to count your vote. 
•    Volunteers of opposing parties work in pairs to do the actual work of removing the ballots from the sealed envelopes. 
•    It is a completely transparent process and is open for public observation.

What else should I know about returning my ballot so that it counts? 
•    Your ballot is due in the elections' office by 7:00 p.m. election day. 
•    If you are returning your ballot by mail don't wait until the last minute. It will take several days for the post office to deliver it to the elections' office. It must be received in the mail on election day, not just postmarked. 
•    Instead of mailing your ballot back, you can drop it off at an early voting site or one of the three elections' office locations, but you may NOT turn it in at the polls on election day. 

Categories: Corley's Corner