By Joan Murray

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The demand for mail-in ballots has surged in Broward County leading up to the November 2020 election.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm to have a vote by mail ballot,” says Broward Supervisor Of Elections Peter Antonacci.

Antonacci says over 500,000 mail-in ballots have been requested and he anticipates the final request will approach 525,000.

“I’m expecting of that 500,000, we will get 400,000 back and that’s more than 100,000 than we’ve ever had,“ he said.

Depending on where you live in Broward, your ballot can be anywhere from a couple of pages to half a dozen the supervisor says.

“There are 115 different ballots so it looks different from Miramar to Coconut Creek.
One community has so many charter questions they have six pages to their ballots,“ Antonacci explained.

Broward voters have a lot of decisions to make. There are congressional seats up for grabs, state house, and state senate races.

Countywide, voters will choose a new school board member, public defender, state attorney supervisor of elections, and sheriff.

With so many choices, NSU professor Charles Zelden says we all need to do our homework. He recommends doing newspaper and TV searches for information about the candidates to see where they stand on issues important to you.

“Everyone should have a plan and do research on who these are people who will affect our lives in Broward,” he says.

Mail-in ballots are already being returned in Broward. Over 10,000 this week alone.

Because of mail delivery issues in the August primary, the supervisor worked an agreement with the US postal service so ballots won’t have to go to the Opa locka distribution center for processing.

Instead, they will go directly from local post offices to the elections office to save time.

Currently, Broward voters can drop off their mail-in ballots at either the Government Center in Fort Lauderdale or the equipment center off SR 7 in Lauderhill.

When early voting begins on October 19, you can take them to those locations too.

As for having everything processed on election night, November 3rd, Antonacci has a plan in place.

He says there will be extra staff in place on the days leading up to Election Day

“My goal is to be done by midnight. We will work hard to make that happen,” he says.