FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The first batch of Vote-By-Mail ballots in Broward are now on their way to voters.
Thursday morning approximately 240,000 mail-in ballots at the election department’s voter equipment center in Lauderhill were loaded onto postal service trucks.
Why so many?
“All those masks you’re wearing. People are a little uncomfortable showing up in a person with a place that could have crowds, so they’re availing themselves to the convenience of kitchen table voting,” said Broward Supervisor of Elections Peter Antonacci.
Antonacci said his office contacted voters in advance to see if they wanted the mail ballot option. He anticipates an additional 66000 will be sent out next week as new Vote-By-Mail applications continue to be processed as received.
“Six weeks ago, we mailed to every Broward voter, about a million voters that had not asked for a vote by mail ballot, a postcard that said ‘Would you like a vote by mail ballot?’ What you see behind me is the processing of those postcards coming back to us saying please send me a Vote-By-Mail ballot,” he said
During the 2016 General Election, 291,051 Vote-By-Mail ballots were mailed to voters and 203,400 of them were timely returned. Vote-by-Mail ballots should be returned as soon as possible to ensure they are counted.
When they receive their Vote-By-Mail package, voters may notice everything has a barcode. That’s part of the security.
“Every ballot that goes out has a bar code on it, it’s read, and it comes back and it’s read again to verify that that in fact, is the ballot that was sent out. And that means you will not be allowed to vote early or on Election Day once that bar code is gets read. You will be prohibited from getting a ballot on Election Day or early voting,” said Antonacci.
Registered voters can request a Vote-By-Mail ballot by going to the election department’s website or by calling (954) 357-7055.
Registered voters can also request a Vote-By-Mail application by mail.
Broward Supervisor of Elections – VBM Request
PO Box 029001
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33302-9001
Miami-Dade is also preparing for a large increase in requests for Vote-By-Mail Ballots. Supervisor of Elections Christina White said they already sent approximately 1,300 overseas Vote-By-Mail ballots. Another 356,000 ballots will be going out next week.
“That’s pretty historic for a Primary Election. That really looks more like a presidential in terms of numbers for us,” she said.
August 8th is the last day to request a Vote-By-Mail ballot for the Primary Election on August 18th.
October 24th is the last day to request a Vote-By-Mail ballot for the General Election on November 3rd.