Registered Voters as of 05/24/2018 | Republican: 55,720 | Democrat: 27,981 | Other: 27,733 | Total: 111,434
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Clearing up Frequently Asked Questions About Voting by Mail

This election year, voters are again faced with a clear-cut choice: To cast a vote at the ballot box or at the mailbox? Voting by mail is a tremendous convenience for residents on the Treasure Coast, whether they live here seasonally or year-around. Even though we see requests for vote-by-mail ballots rise each year, the option still prompts plenty of questions. So here are answers to some of the most commonly asked:

Once I receive a vote-by-mail ballot, do I have to request for future elections?
Florida law allows a voter to request vote-by-mail ballots for four years. If you are not sure if your request has expired, contact your local supervisor of elections office. Don’t assume your ballot will be automatically mailed.

How can I request a vote-by-mail ballot?
You can call your elections office and request a ballot to be mailed or visit your elections office website and fill out an application online.

Can my vote-by-mail ballot be forwarded?
No. If you need to receive your ballot at a different address other than the one on your voter registration record, you must make the request in writing. Your request must include your date of birth, your signature and the address where the ballot should be mailed. A form is also available for download at your supervisors’ website.

How long before I receive my vote-by-mail ballot?
Your ballot will arrive in the mail approximately 30 days before the election—whether it’s a primary, general, or special election. You’ll also find an option on your supervisors’ website to track your ballot to ensure your voted ballot was received by the elections office.

What if I’m serving in the military?
If you’re in the military and serving overseas, your requested vote-by-mail ballot will be mailed at least 45 days before the election. If you’re serving stateside, your requested ballot will be mailed approximately 30 days before Election Day.

What’s the latest date I can request a vote-by-mail ballot to be mailed?
You have until 5 p.m. six days before an election.

By when do I need to return my vote-by-mail ballot?
It must be received no later than 7 p.m. Election Day, so we recommend mailing it at least seven days before that date. You can also return it in person—but only at your county’s elections office. You cannot return it at your precinct.

What if I request a vote-by-mail ballot but never send it in? Can I still show up and vote on Election Day?
Yes, as long as your elections office can confirm not receiving your vote-by-mail ballot. If the elections office cannot confirm or there’s some dispute, you will be allowed to cast a provisional ballot.

If there is a close race on the ballot, will my vote-by-mail ballot still be counted?
Absolutely. All ballots are counted, and certainly all vote-by-mail ballots are counted regardless of a vote disparity between candidates. Furthermore, supervisors of elections are bound by law to submit all tabulated vote-by-mail and early votes to the Florida Division of Elections no later than 30 minutes after the polls close.

Is a reason required for me to receive a vote-by-mail ballot?
No. It doesn’t matter if you’re unable or unwilling to visit the polls in person, the mail-in option is available to you. In fact, Florida is one of only 27 no-excuse states when it comes to voting by mail.

So, there’s no excuse not to request your vote-by-mail ballot—and experience an entirely different definition of direct democracy.

Vicki Davis, Martin County Supervisor of Elections.

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