More than 2.7 million Floridians voted by mail in the 2016 presidential election. This year, the number is expected to be much higher.
This article is part of COURIER’s Your Vote 2020 hub. For more stories from each of the battleground states, along with national reporting, visit the site here.
There’s no doubt that President Donald Trump has been confusing voters about their rights. One second he’s tweeting about mail-in voter fraud, the next he’s endorsing it—that seems to be in the case in Florida, anyway. The truth is every registered voter has the right to cast their vote in the upcoming election, whether they do it in person or by mail.
As voting deadlines loom, here’s what you need to know about when to register and how to vote by mail.
Are you registered to vote in Florida?
First things first: if you’re uncertain about your registration to vote in Florida, you can find out by visiting the website of the Florida Department of State.
If you are not registered to vote, you can do so in this page of the Florida Department of State.
What’s the difference between vote by mail and absentee ballot?
The terms are different depending on which state you’re in, but the voting systems are essentially the same. In the case of Florida, all registered voters are allowed to request a ballot to vote by mail, without having to claim a specific circumstance to do so.
How do I request a vote-by-mail ballot?
A request for a vote-by-mail ballot can be made in any of the following ways:
- Online, through the website of your county Supervisors of Elections’ website (find it HERE)
- By writing (email, mail or fax) to the Supervisor of Elections of your county (find it HERE)
- In person at the office of your Supervisor of Elections (find it HERE)
- By telephone calling your Supervisor of Elections (find it HERE)
What are the deadlines for voting by mail in Florida?
The deadline to request your vote-by-mail ballot is 10 days before the election, which this year is October 24th.
Your mail-in-vote is due by 7 p.m. on Election Day, which means you should mail it several days in advance to make sure it gets counted.
What information do I need to provide to get a mail-in ballot?
In order to vote by mail, you will need to provide the following information:
- Date of birth
- Signature (if you’re sending a written request)
The mail-in ballot can also be requested by an immediate family member or legal guardian. In that case, besides the information mentioned above, the requester must provide:
- Requester’s name
- Requester’s address
- Requester’s driver’s license number (if available)
- Requester’s relationship to voter
- Requester’s signature
All local election offices will accept mailed or hand-delivered forms for mail-in ballots. Your Local Election Office will also let you fax or email the application.
For more information on mail-in voting in Florida, visit the website of the Florida Division of Elections.