Coronavirus COVID-19, Voting, and Absentee Ballots
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow and affect virtually every aspect of American life, individuals all across the United States are left wondering how they should vote in the upcoming elections on a local and national scale.
States all across the country have closed schools, banned public and large gatherings, while additionally encouraging work-from-home and contactless delivery or pickup options.
Local elections in the South Florida area are no exception with election officials proposing that voters that wish to participate should engage in vote-by-mail, as well as absentee ballots.
Sending individuals into nursing homes, healthcare facilities, and other areas that encourage large groups and close contact is a questionable decision raising questions as to how to plan for voting.
For this reason, our team from Reach Voters is sharing some useful information on what you can do to cast your vote in the South Florida community. Read on to learn more.
How Absentee and Vote-by-Mail Ballots Work
Absentee or vote-by-mail ballots refer to a ballot that the Department of Elections receives by mail or picked up instead of the traditional method of casting a vote at the polls.
With the exception of requesting a Vote-by-Mail ballot on Election Day, you won’t need an excuse to vote to utilize a vote-by-mail ballot.
Requests to receive a vote-by-mail ballot remain valid, additionally covering all elections through the end of the calendar year for any ensuing, regularly scheduled elections unless specified otherwise.
With any absentee ballots, instructions remain included when you receive it. Fill out the ballot, returning it to the Supervisor of Elections no later than 7 P.M. on the day of the election.
For candidates and voters alike, methods like early voting, absentee ballots, and digital marketing initiatives are an ideal avenue that they can pursue contactless and mitigated-risk voting during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, state voters experience symptoms of COVID-19 can designate other individuals to pick absentee ballots up until election day.
How to Get an Absentee Ballot in Florida
If you are presently registered to vote in Miami-Dade County, you can request a ballot to vote by mail online. Nevertheless, you can also request absentee ballots through email, fax, phone, and traditional mail.
The deadline to request absentee, vote-by-mail ballots is 5 P.M. on the tenth day prior to the election. Unfortunately, a postmarked ballot request is not valid.
Information on Absentee Ballots for Upcoming Elections from Reach Voters
State election officials in Florida continue to encourage individuals to take advantage of alternative voting methods to avoid close contact with other individuals.
Local officials also currently possess recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the steps that polling locations can take amid the spread of the virus.
Some of these recommendations include advising any poll workers not feeling well to stay home, in addition to steps they can take to properly clean and sterilize the facilities throughout the day.
This is a crucial time upcoming for a serious, potentially state- and nation-altering upcoming elections season. With a variety of ways to expand voter access during this time of emergency, now is the time to put these methods to the test.
As information continues to evolve and transform regarding elections, voting, and coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Reach Voters remains committed to providing up-to-date and accurate information. Follow along with our blog and contact our team today to learn more!
- “Vote by Mail – Miami-Dade County.” https://www.miamidade.gov/global/service.page?Mduid_service=ser1512065909614490. Accessed 24 Apr. 2020.