4.7 million mail ballots to begin reaching post office Thursday

Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 5:10 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) - Starting Thursday, mail ballots will begin going out to the 4.7 million Floridians who have already requested them.

It already dwarfs the 3.3 million requested in 2016 and elections supervisors have told us they’re getting more requests each day.

At Election Supervisors' offices across the state mail ballots were being prepped Wednesday.

The unprecedented 4.7 million ballots that have been requested so far may seem like a daunting task, but President of the Association representing supervisors of elections Craig Latimer told us the state is prepared.

“Because we’ve been doing vote by mail for almost 20 years, I think that Florida is really in a great position to end up being the shining star on election night,” said Latimer.

Vice President of the Association, Mark Earley, agreed.

“Well, this is Florida. Elections are close. So I’m never going to say you should know the winner on Election Day, but we will certainly have the vast majority of our ballots counted by the end of the night on election night,” said Earley.

Supervisors also said with more people opting to vote by mail, in-person voting should run smoother.

With fewer people at the polls, precautions for sanitation and social distancing are expected to be less burdensome.

Earley did notice one issue in the Primary Election: Some voters attempted to drop off their mail ballots in person, without the envelope.

“You can’t. It’s got to be in the envelope because, otherwise, there’s no way for us to know whose ballot that was,” said Earley.

Requesting and returning your ballot early is key.

While you can request a mail ballot as late as ten days before the election, supervisors and the post office recommend mailing it back at least a week before the election.

“If you don’t want to trust the mail, you can go to any early vote site during early voting and there will be a dropbox there,” said Latimer.

Ballots have already begun flowing in.

More than 2,100 have been received from overseas voters according to the latest numbers published by the state.

Copyright 2020 Capitol News Service. All rights reserved.

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