Voting by Mail (Absentee) is one of two ways that a voter can vote their ballot before Election Day. The other method is called Early Voting, and occurs in the Elections Office on the week or so before Election Day. For more information, visit the Early Voting page. Vote By Mail ballots and Early Voting ballots are counted the same as ballots voted on Election Day. In fact, Vote By Mail ballots and Early Voting ballots are usually included in the initial results on Election Night.
Florida law allows all qualified voters to request a mail (absentee) ballot from the Supervisor of Elections with no excuse needed. A member of the voter’s immediate family or legal guardian may also request a Vote By Mail ballot for a voter, if directly instructed to do so by the voter. The request can be made for any and all elections through the end of the calendar year of the second ensuing regularly scheduled general election.
If you are requesting an vote by mail ballot to be mailed to your residential address, mailing address, or another address already on file with us, or if you are active duty military, merchant marines, their spouses or dependents, or a U.S. citizen residing outside the U.S., you can make the request using the Online Mail Ballot (Absentee) Request Form or by calling our offices.
If the request is to mail a ballot to an address that we DO NOT have on file, you must submit a written & signed request. If you are unsure if we have the correct address on file, please contact us to verify. The written request can be received by mail, email email@example.com or fax (850-547-4168). If making a written & signed request for a vote by mail ballot, the following information must be included:
- Voter's full name
- Voter's legal residence address
- Voter's date of birth
- Address to which the ballot will be mailed
- Voter's signature
NOTE: Be sure to provide your current mailing address. The U.S. Post Office cannot forward vote by mail ballots.
A request for a vote by mail ballot to be mailed must be received by the Supervisor of Elections no later than 5 pm on the 6th day before an election. By state law, we cannot mail a ballot no later than 4 days before an election. Please make every effort to request vote by mail ballots as early as possible so that enough time is allowed to receive and return the ballot. Vote By Mail ballots for voters living in the U.S., for which we have a request on file, are mailed between 35 and 28 days before Election Day, in accordance with Florida Statute 101.62(4)(b). Vote By Mail ballots for military voters and voters living outside the U.S. are sent at least 45 days before Election Day.
Members of the United States Uniformed Services on active duty and the Merchant Marines, their spouses and dependents, and United States citizens residing outside of the United States have additional options and allowances when it comes to voting by mail. For more details, please visit Mail Ballot Information for Military & Citizens living outside the U.S.
A designee may pick up a vote by mail ballot for you on Election Day or up to 5 days before an election. A designee may only pick up 2 absentee ballots per election (other than his or her own ballot and ballots for members of his or her immediate family). Designees must provide the following information to the Supervisor of Elections
- a written authorization from the voter;
- a picture identification; and
- a signed affidavit
After you mark your ballot, it must be delivered to the Supervisor of Elections Office, by mail or in person, no later than 7 pm on Election Day. Do not return the marked ballot to a polling place.
You can also track the status of your mail ballot request or mail ballot online by using the Voter Information Search.
If you returned your vote by mail ballot to your supervisor of elections, but forgot to sign the ballot or your signature does not match what is on your voter registration record, your ballot will not count unless you complete and return the Omitted Signature Affidavit for Vote By Mail no later than 5:00 pm on the day before the election. Please follow the instructions on the form carefully, as failure to follow these instructions may cause your ballot not to count.
Other options and allowances exist for Members of the United States Uniformed Services and the Merchant Marines on active duty, their spouses and dependents, and United States citizens residing outside of the United States. For more details, please visit Mail Ballot Information for Military & Citizens living outside the U.S.