Florida Residents: Do This to Make Sure Your Vote Counts
Steven T. Lowe
Vote early and use dropbox. Instructions below.
With arguably the most important election in our nation’s history taking place this November, it is increasingly important that voters develop a plan to ensure their votes count. While this firm cannot and is not providing legal advice, we do offer the following information for Florida residents.
In the midst of a pandemic, voting at the polls may not be a viable option for many Floridians. Fortunately, the state of Florida offers alternative ways for its residents to cast their vote. The concerns surrounding the USPS and COVID-19 make voting via ballot drop box the most appealing option. Voters in swing states like Florida have an especially important role to play in the upcoming Presidential General Election.
As an alternative to voting in person, Florida has implemented an accessible, transparent, and convenient program for voters to drop off their mail ballot in a secure drop box. Voters can complete their ballot at home and deposit them into one of the hundreds of drop boxes dispersed throughout the state. Before dropping your ballot off in a drop box, be sure to place your voted ballot card inside the Official Return Envelope, seal the envelope, and sign and date the back of the envelope. The ballots will then be collected by election officials from the drop boxes.
Florida residents are able to request a vote-by-mail ballot until 5 p.m. on October 24, 2020. In order to request a vote-by-mail ballot, Florida residents can fill out an online application found at the Supervisor of Elections website. Early voting begins on October 24, 2020. Florida voters who receive a vote-by-mail ballot may return their completed ballot to a secure drop box located at an early voting location in their county. According to the Florida Department of State, drop boxes will be situated at Supervisor of Elections’ main and branch offices and early voting sites. Florida residents can visit Find your Supervisor of Elections by list- Florida Division of Elections – Department of State for the location of all ballot drop boxes. All mail-in ballots should be placed in their respective drop boxes by 7 p.m. on November 3, 2020.
After returning your ballot via drop box, you can check to make sure your ballot was received and counted through the vote-by-mail status tool. According to ABC News, registered voters can visit State of Florida Voter Lookup /Search and enter their name and birth date to check if their ballot has been tallied. After the voter enters their information, they will see a link titled “Ballot -and Precinct Information.” The voter can click on that link and they will be taken to their county supervisor of elections website. The website will display the voter’s mail-in ballot status and whether it has been received and counted.
Developing a plan to exercise your right to vote is essential. Utilizing the ballot drop boxes ensures the integrity of our democracy by protecting your vote.