One-third of Floridians typically vote by mail, although now due to COVID-19 these numbers are expected to at least double for the primary and general elections, which why residents of the Sunshine State now have the three voting options this year.
Florida voters have three options for voting: vote-by-mail, early voting, and voting on Election Day. With the predicted increase in the number of vote-by-mail ballots this year, early voting sites and elections supervisors’ offices are allowing voters to hand deliver their mail-in ballots. Some counties are offering secured drop boxes locations at their early voting sites to help ease the mind of time concerned Voters. Supervisors of elections are encouraging voters to choose whichever options best accommodates their needs during unusual election time.
Florida officials, along with forty-six other states, received an alert from the U.S. Postal Service General Counsel warning them that the state is at risk of having mail in ballots go uncounted for in the November election. The mail-in ballot policies may not coincide with Postal Service’s delivery standards, which means that some mail-in ballots could be requested and returned in a timely manner that follows along with election rules, but they might not be returned in time to be counted. Per Florida law county supervisors of elections can send mail-in ballots to voters as late as eight days before an election and voters can request mail-in ballots up to ten days before an election. Local election offices typically use two classes of mail, “First Class Mail” which takes two to four days to deliver after received, and “USPS Marketing Mail” which takes three to ten days to deliver after received, leaving vote-by-mail Floridians at risk as ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.
Voters should mail their completed ballots at least one week before their state’s due date so for today’s Primary Election, Floridians can still have their vote count by hand delivering their mail in ballots to early voting sites before 7:00 pm today. Officials recommended that Florida voters mail their ballots for the General Election no later than October 27 this year.