Voter Suppression is truly a vast right wing conspiracy. This is not just a conspiracy theory. This is truly a deliberate action taken by conservative law makers all over the country, to restrict the ability of many voters. Especilly young people, people of color, low income people and senior citizens. Florida has passed the gold standard of voter wrights laws. I would like to see all 49 other states do the same.

As of July 1, 2016, the term “Absentee Ballot” has changed to “Vote-by-Mail Ballot.” Language on our website has been updated accordingly. For additional information, please refer to Chapter 2016-37, Laws of Florida.

A voter does not have to be absent from the county of residence or have an excuse to vote by mail.  This option ensures that people who are simply not well enough or too busy or just want to avoid standing and waiting on long lines can excercise their god given gift to vote.

Vote-by-mail refers to voting a ballot received by mail or picked up by or for a voter who is unable or unwilling to go to the polls to vote during early voting or Election Day. A voter does not have to be absent from the county of residence or have an excuse in order to vote-by-mail except on Election Day (see details below). A request covers all elections through the end of the calendar year for the second ensuing regularly scheduled general election. To receive a vote-by-mail ballot, the voter or authorized person must contact his or her county Supervisor of Elections.

Requesting a vote by mail ballot is easy. There are several options a family member or even legal guardian can pick one up for you.

A request for a vote-by-mail ballot may be made in one of the following ways:

  • Online application on your county Supervisors of Elections’ website
  • In writing (e.g., by email, fax, mail) to Supervisor of Elections
  • In person at Supervisor of Elections
  • By telephone call to Supervisor of Elections

If you are making the request, the following information is required:

  • The name of the voter for whom the ballot is being requested;
  • The voter’s address;
  • The voter’s date of birth; and
  • The voter’s signature (if the request is written).

If an immediate family member or legal guardian is requesting a vote-by-mail ballot for you, the following additional information must be provided:

  • The requestor’s address;
  • The requestor’s driver’s license number (if available);
  • The requestor’s relationship to the voter; and
  • The requestor’s signature (if the request is written).

The deadline to request that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed is no later than 5 p.m. on the 6th day before the election. Otherwise, a vote-by-mail ballot can be picked-up until and including on Election Day. However, the ballot must still be received by the Supervisor of Elections no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day if the voted ballot is to count.

A voter can mail in their vote, rather than stand in line and wait to vote.

A voter can pick up or have delivered his or her own vote-by-mail ballot at any time the ballot becomes available, including up to 7 p.m. on Election Day. A voter can also authorize in writing a designee to pick up the ballot for him or her but the earliest the designee can then pick up the ballot is five days before Election Day. A designee is limited to picking up two vote-by-mail ballots per elections (not including his or her own ballot and ballots for immediate family members. Additionally, a designee must submit a completed Affidavit to Pick-up a Vote-by-Mail Ballot for a Voter (DS-DE 37 – English PDFEspañol PDF), which includes the written authorization from the Voter. If there is no request on record, the voter will also have to submit the request part of the Affidavit.

If a voter or designee waits until Election Day to pick up or have delivered a vote-by-mail ballot, the Election Day Vote-by-Mail Ballot Delivery Affidavit (DS-DE 136 – English PDFEspañol PDF) must also be completed in which the voter affirms that he or she has as an emergency that keeps the voter from being able to go his or her assigned polling place instead to vote.

Instructions are easy to follow and on the ballot.

Instructions for completing the vote-by-mail ballot are included with the ballot. The voted ballot must be returned and received by the Supervisor of Elections no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day. Other return options are available for Military and Overseas Voters.

If the voter decides to go to the polls to vote instead, the voter should bring the vote-by-mail ballot (whether it has been marked or not). Even if the voter comes to the polls without the vote-by-mail ballot, the voter will still be able to vote a regular ballot if the supervisor of elections’ office is able to confirm that it has not received the voter’s vote-by-mail ballot. However, if it is confirmed that the voter have already voted a vote-by-mail ballot, the voter cannot vote again at the polls. If the voter believes or insists that the supervisor of elections’ office is wrong about receiving the vote-by-mail ballot or if the supervisor of elections’ office cannot confirm that the voter has already voted an vote-by-mail ballot, the voter is allowed to vote a provisional ballot.

There are ways to fix the ballot even after you mail it in, and  you can track your vote online.

If you forgot to sign your certificate with the returned vote-by-mail ballot, you may still have the opportunity to correct the omission by completing and returning an Omitted Signature Affidavit for Vote-by-Mail Ballot (DS–DE 139 – English PDF / Español PDF) with a copy of your identification. The deadline to submit the Affidavit, however, is no later than 5 p.m. on the day before the election. Failure to follow the instructions carefully may cause your ballot not to count.

This is an incredible option. One than limit the influence of foreign governments. Give every voter a voice. This is an option i believe all 50 states should offer their residence!

Any voter who has requested a vote-by-mail ballot can track online the status of his or her ballot through a link within the Division of Elections’ Check your Voter Status website or through their county Supervisor of Elections’ website.

There is still work to be done, but Florida’s vote by mail option, is something i think is worth fighting for in every state. I ask all voters to send their States Governors a letter or email. Asking them to take a look at Florida’s Vote by Mail law and implement the same in their state. Follow my blog. I will post voter suppression stories, as well as success stories beating back voter suppression efforts.