Here's What You Need To Know To Vote By Mail In Tampa Bay - WUSF Public Media | Tampa NPR, Local News Coverage

Here’s What You Need To Know To Vote By Mail In Tampa Bay

Ahead of the November presidential election, tension run high. A polls show Americans say the election is a causing stress.

As coronavirus cases continue to rise in Florida, people are looking for alternate ways to vote in the upcoming primary and general elections.

With almost 3 million registered voters in Tampa Bay, many are turning to vote-by-mail to avoid long lines and possible spread at polling locations.

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Florida has had “no excuse vote-by-mail” ballots since 2002, so voters don’t need to provide a reason when registering to vote by mail.

“It is a safe, convenient way to vote, so people should feel confident about it,” said Craig Latimer, Hillsborough County’s Supervisor of Elections.

“And it’s a great alternative during this time so that people don’t have to come out and possibly expose themselves to this virus.”

The deadlines to register for vote-by-mail are:

  • 5pm August 8 for the August 18 Florida primary
  • 5pm October 24 for the November 3 general election

Ballots cannot be forwarded, so make sure to include a current mailing address during registration.

The signature on mail-in ballot envelopes must match the one on file with the county and all ballots must be received– not postmarked– by 7pm on Election Day.

On Election Day, mail-in ballots can only be dropped off at election offices, and, if anyone changes their mind, mail-in ballots can be canceled when checking in to vote in person.

Here’s what you need to know to make sure your mail-in ballot is counted in your county.

Hillsborough

  • Hillsborough offers postage-paid return ballots, so no stamps needed
  • Curbside drop-off tents will be available at all 24 early-voting locations
  • Request and track your vote-by-mail ballot here

Pinellas

Pasco

  • This is the first year Pasco will provide prepaid postage on all mail-in ballots
  • Mail-in ballots can be dropped off in-person at any of the 11 early voting sites or one of three election offices through Election Day.
  • Request and track your vote-by-mail ballot here

Polk

  • Mail-in ballot drop-off will be available at both election offices and all early voting locations
  • Request and track your vote-by-mail ballot here

Sarasota

Manatee

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