In the 2020 general election, more than 4.8 million Floridians voted by mail. That was 2 million more than the number of people who voted by mail in 2018 and in 2016.
Voting by mail is smartest way we have to vote in Florida. Most voters do not work a traditional 40-hour work week and don’t have the option to take time out on Election Tuesday to go to the polls. During the pandemic, voters learned the convenience of having that ballot mailed to them, filling it out in the privacy of their home, and returning it.
With a primary coming up on Aug. 23 and a general election on Nov. 8, here is what you need to know if you want to vote by mail in 2022.
How do I request a vote-by-mail ballot?
- The easiest way to request a vote by mail ballot is to call the Supervisor of Elections office at 305-292 3416.
- Make the request in-person at one of the 3 offices in the Florida Keys. Click here for office locations.
- Send your signed request to the Supervisor’s office by mail, fax or e-mail. For an e-mail, you must scan a signed letter and send it in as an attachment.
- Print a request form here.
All requests must have this information:
- Voter’s full name
- Date of birth
- The voter’s Florida driver’s license number, identification card number, or last four digits of their social security number. This is a new change by the Florida Legislature and those identification numbers are required to be on file with the county supervisor of elections office in order to get your VBM ballot request approved.
Do I have to request a ballot for every election?
In Florida, one vote-by-mail ballot request lasts for all elections in a calendar year. So if you make a ballot request for the August 23 primary, you won’t have to make one for the November 8 general election.
Prior to 2021, a vote by mail ballot request would last for two federal election cycles. The Florida Legislature made this change in 2021 and if you previously voted mail, you need to make note of this change and remember to request a new vote-by-mail ballot in 2023 for the next election cycle.
How Do I Check My Voter Registration and Vote-By-Mail status?
If you are not sure if you need to make a new request for a vote by mail ballot, you can check your voter registration information and your vote-by mail request status online here or in-person at one of 3 Keys Supervisor of Elections Locations:
|Main Office:||530 Whitehead St #101|
Key West, Florida 33040-6577
|Marathon Branch:||1001th Street Center|
10015 Overseas Hwy
Marathon, Florida 33050
|Key Largo Branch:||Murray Nelson Center|
102050 Overseas Hwy #137
Key Largo, FL 33037-2785
Can someone request a ballot for me?
Yes. An immediate family member or a legal guardian can request a ballot on a voter’s behalf.
The person requesting the ballot must include their address, driver’s license number, ID card or last four digits of their social security number, and their relationship to the voter, in addition to the voter’s information. If the request is being mailed in, the requestor must provide a signature as well.
What is the deadline for a Vote-By-Mail ballot request?
VBM ballot requests must be submitted 10 days before an election — Aug. 13 for the Florida primary this year, and Oct. 29 for the general election.
The elections supervisor then has two days to get the ballot out to you.
After that deadline, you can always go to the supervisor of elections office in your county, make that request in person and pick up your ballot.
What if I make a mistake on my ballot?
If you make a mistake on your ballot, contact your county supervisor of elections office and they will send you a new ballot. You can’t fix a mistake on your ballot after you send it in, so be sure you are certain about your responses before you send return your ballot.
What is the deadline to turn in a vote by mail ballot?
All VBM ballots must be turned into your county supervisor of elections office by 7 p.m. on election day. Ballots that are postmarked on election day but not returned until after election day will not be accepted.
How do I turn in a vote by mail ballot?
There are three ways to turn in a ballot:
- Mail it through a shipping service like the U.S. Postal Service. If you plan to mail it back to the supervisor’s office, it is best to get the ballot mailed as soon as possible. It is recommended that you put your ballot in the mail at least 10 days before election day to make sure your ballot will arrive on time. After that it is best to use one of the other two options.
- Take your ballot directly to an election office.
- Drop your ballot in a secure drop box during early voting.
If you are going to be out of state when you need to turn in your ballot, you should consider using UPS or FedEx to send in your ballot to make sure it gets there on time.
Will drop boxes for vote by mail ballots return in 2022?
In the last legislative session, the Florida Legislature replaced drop boxes with “secure ballot intake” boxes. These boxes will be available in counties during the early voting period. The boxes must be staffed.
The “Secure Ballot Intake Boxes” will be available at early voting locations during operating hours.
Why do I need to sign the return envelope for my ballot?
A signature is required on the return envelope to verify who is mailing in the ballot. The signature is matched up with the one the county supervisor of elections has in your record.
What if my signature doesn’t match the one on file?
For a variety of reasons, such as age, health issues and style, voters signatures can change over time. The trained elections staff checks every signature against the voter’s record, and if there is a discrepancy, the voter will receive a “cure affidavit.” This gives voters a chance to cure their ballot, up to two days after the election.
If there is a problem with a ballot or signature, the supervisor of elections staff will try to contact the voter any way they can, so it is prudent to make sure your up-to-date contact information is on file with the county election’s office. This is also a good reason to get your ballot returned sooner rather than later.
You can also always update the signature on file with the county elections office in person.
Can someone return my vote by mail ballot for me?
A voter can turn in ballots of family members and up to two ballots by people who are not family members.
How can I track my ballot and make sure it was received?
You can go to Monroe County Supervisor of Elections website (https://www.keys-elections.org/Voters/My-Vote-by-Mail-Status) to see the status of your mail in ballot, whether it has been returned, whether it’s been accepted, and whether there is something you have to fix.