Vote by Mail Frequently Asked Questions
Q: May I request ballots for my family and/or neighbors?
A: You may request a vote-by-mail ballot for anyone in your immediate family or anyone for whom you are a legal guardian by calling 352-564-7120. You will be asked the voter’s name, date of birth, and address, Florida Driver License or Florida Identification Card #, or the last four digits of their Social Security #, and your name, address, Florida Driver License or Florida ID card #, or the last four digits of your Social Security #, and your relationship to the voter.
Q: Does your office really look at every signature on every ballot?
A: Yes! Every single ballot is matched to the voter’s record and the signature on the Certificate Envelope is compared to the signature on file.
Q: Should I worry about my ballot being rejected because of an issue with my signature?
A: If we receive your ballot and it is not signed, or if the signature provided cannot be verified to the signatures in your voter record, we will notify you. You will be required to complete a Vote-by-Mail Cure Affidavit (form DS-DE 139). The form will be due back in our office no later than 5:00 p.m. on the second day after an election.
Q: Why am I asked to supply personal contact information on the outside of my vote-by-mail envelope? I am not comfortable with my personal information going through the mail.
A: We are required by Florida Law to request this information. The purpose is so that we can contact you in case there is an issue verifying your signature or you forgot to sign your ballot. Supplying this information is optional and we understand your hesitancy; however, our ability to contact you can sometimes be the difference between your ballot being tabulated or not.
Q: What happens to my ballot after my signature is verified and accepted?
A: Your ballot will remain sealed and will be filed by batch. It will then be stored in a locked, secured area where it will remain until the first day of canvassing.
Q: What methods are in place to ensure a stranger is not requesting a ballot using my name?
A: For any vote-by-mail ballot request, you are required to supply your date of birth, Florida Driver License or Florida ID card #, or the last four digits of your Social Security # and verify your address of record. While it is true someone other than yourself could supply that information to the elections office, the odds are that a stranger would NOT be able to duplicate your signature and pass the verification process. If there is ever a question, we have the capability to retrieve the sealed ballot before tabulation and investigate.
Q: How does the elections office keep track of who was mailed a ballot, and what keeps people from requesting more than one ballot?
A: Your request is entered into your voter registration record when it is processed. If a second request is made, the software automatically alerts the processor that a ballot has already been mailed.
Q: How will I know if my ballot has reached your office in time to be counted?
A: You can track your ballot from our website (www.votecitrus.gov/Voter-Lookup-Form) or you can call our office at 352-564-7120 for a status update.
Q: What does it mean to “canvass” my ballot?
A: It is a formal process which is overseen by the county canvassing board which is composed of the supervisor of elections, a county court judge, and a county commissioner (or their substitutes or alternates as prescribed by statute). It is when your ballot is removed from the sealed certificate envelope and put through the ballot tabulators to count your vote. Election workers of opposing parties work in pairs to do the actual work of removing the ballots from the sealed envelopes which is a two-step process to protect the identity of the voter. Election workers help staff to do the actual work of removing the ballots from the sealed envelopes in a two-step process to protect the identity of the voter. It is a completely transparent process and is open for public observation.