- If someone helps you fill out your ballot, make sure they mark YOUR CHOICE.
- After voting, put your ballot in the secrecy envelope, then in the affidavit envelope provided. Print and sign your name in the proper locations on the back of the affidavit envelope. Your signature will be compared to the one on file in the Elections Office to verify its validity. If you do not sign your affidavit envelope, your ballot cannot be counted.
- If you receive an Vote by Mail ballot, and find you are able to go to the polls on elections day, take your ballot with you. It will be voided by a poll worker, and you will be allowed to vote at the polls.
Military personnel, their spouses, and dependents may apply for voter registration or request Vote by Mail ballots with a Federal Post Card Application (which can be obtained from the Unit Voting Officer). US Embassies and Consulates can assist in completing, witnessing, and mailing Federal Post Cards, Vote by Mail ballots, and other election materials.
Who May Vote By Mail?
If you are a registered voter in Desoto County, you may choose to vote by mail ballot.
- Voting by mail ballot is practical if you are permanently disabled, serving in the military, living over-seas or in a temporary situation such as being out of town or not able to be in your precinct during election day hours.
- An vote by mail ballot may be requested anytime after January 1, during the election year. This is done in person, by mail, or by telephone (call (863) 993-4871). The ballot will be mailed out as soon as the ballots are received from the printer.
- You may vote early at the Desoto County Elections Office starting 15 days before every election. We will be open 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Saturday. There will be no early voting the Monday before Election Day. You will need to bring a signature and photo ID.
- If you're hospitalized, we will deliver a ballot to you on Election Day. Call (863) 993-4871 to request this service prior to 4:00 p.m.
- Vote by mail if your permanent residence changed to another Florida county after registration books closed (29 days before an election). Books close August 7th for the upcoming election on September 5th.
How to Vote by Mail Ballot
A voter, or someone designated by the voter, may request an Vote by Mail ballot from the supervisor of elections in person, by mail or by telephone. One request can cover all elections through the next two regularly scheduled general elections. If you would like to have an Vote by Mail ballot mailed to you, contact your supervisor of elections by 5 p.m. on the sixth day before an election. The person requesting an Vote by Mail ballot must disclose:
· The name of the voter for whom the ballot is requested;
· The voter’s address;
· The voter’s date of birth;
· The requester’s name;
· The requester’s address;
· The requester’s driver’s license number, if available;
· The requester’s relationship to the voter; and,
· The requester’s signature (written request only).
Marked ballots must be mailed or delivered in person reaching the supervisor of elections’ office not later than 7 p.m. on the day of the election. Do not return your voted Vote by Mail ballot to a polling place.
A designee may pick up an Vote By Mail ballot for a voter on election day or up to 5 days before election day. A designee may only pick up two Vote By Mail ballots per election, other than his or her own ballot or ballots for members of his or her immediate family. Designees must have written authorization from the voter, present a picture I.D. and sign an affidavit.
If you have obtained an Vote by Mail ballot but are able to vote in your precinct on election day, you must take the Vote by Mail ballot with you to the polls, whether or not it has been marked. However, if you are unable to return the ballot, you may vote a provisional ballot.
(see sections 101.048, 101.62 and 101.69, Florida Statutes)
In Person Absentee Voting (Early Voting)
The 2004 Legislature passed legislation which standardized early voting throughout the state. Early voting is defined as “casting a ballot prior to election day at a location designated by the supervisor of elections and depositing the voted ballot in the tabulation system”.
Early voting will begin 15 days before an election and will end on the 2nd day before an election. The supervisor of elections will offer early voting in the main or branch office of the supervisor. The supervisor may also designate any city hall or public library as an early voting site; however, if so designated, these sites must be geographically located so that all voters in the county will have an equal opportunity to cast a vote.
Early voting will be conducted 8 hours per day on each weekday during the early voting period and will be provided for 8 hours in the aggregate for each weekend during the period. Each supervisor of elections will designate the early voting sites 30 days prior to an election. For additional information on dates, times, and locations, please contact the office of your county supervisor of elections.
Voters who want to vote early should remember to bring a photo and signature identification with them.
How do I return my absentee ballot?
Absentee ballots must be returned to the Supervisor of Elections by mail or delivery by the voter or another individual.
Voted absentee ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on election day at the office of the Supervisor of Elections. A VOTED ABSENTEE BALLOT CANNOT BE ACCEPTED AT A POLLING PLACE.