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Voting by mail worked in the primary — let's do it again | Mark Earley

Event date: 9/17/2020 Export event

Voting by mail worked in the primary — let's do it again | Mark Earley

Mark Earley Your Turn

 The August 18 primary election was a big success in Leon County and across Florida. Statewide, we saw the highest turnout in a primary election since 2002. Planning, communication and teamwork between the Leon County Elections Office and our voters allowed us to be successful in this very difficult time.

My thanks go to the thousands of voters who heeded the call to vote by mail. I know this was new to many of you, and trusting that the system would work wasn't easy. But it did work — with record participation. 

 We had the highest number of vote-by-mail ballots we've ever counted — for any election, much less a primary. Nearly 44,000 Leon County voters cast their ballots by mail. These voters safely and securely made their voices heard, while maintaining critical social distancing. They also contributed to safer, less crowded conditions for in-person voting at early voting and Election Day polling sites.

 We are now hard at work to ensure Leon County — and all of Florida — is as prepared for the general election as we were for the primary.

 We expect more than double the turnout in November than in August. As always, this will stress our resources. But I am confident our elections team, our poll workers and our community will meet this challenge successfully.

Already nearly 72,000 Leon County voters have requested their vote-by-mail ballots for the general election. These ballots will begin hitting the mail the last week in September. Over the coming weeks, let’s get that number of requests above 100,000!

As in the primary, increased use of vote-by-mail allows for a safer, less crowded environment for our courageous poll workers. Nearly a thousand of your neighbors will work long hours at the polls to ensure every voter can cast a ballot in one of the most important elections our nation has ever seen.

If you have not done so already, request your vote-by-mail ballot now. We are mailing a request form to every voter who does not have one on file. You can complete and return that form, go online to LeonVotes.gov or call the election office at 850-606-8683 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. A voter services team member will be happy to help you with any questions you might have about voting in Leon County, and can take your request over the phone.

Even if you plan to vote in-person, I encourage you to request a mail ballot be sent to you as a back-up in case the health situation worsens between now and Election Day. You can mail your voted ballot back to my office, drop your voted ballot into one of our convenient drop boxes at an early voting site, or just come inside a polling site and vote in person — with or without your mail ballot.

As in the primary election, there will be ballot drop boxes at all 10 early voting sites during voting hours. Early voting runs Oct. 19 through Nov. 1. Additionally, ballot drop boxes will be available through Election Day at the election center at the intersection of Apalachee Parkway and Capital Circle SE.

If you are intent on voting at the polls, we will be ready for you with smiling eyes — and masks, hand sanitizer, frequent cleaning of all surfaces and social distancing to allow you to vote safely.

But I do ask you to please take advantage of the first week of early voting to prevent lines of people waiting to vote at the last minute. 

This is a challenging time for all of us. Our adversaries across the globe know this, and they are trying to use our very freedoms to divide us. So now more than ever, please be kind and patient with each other.

Teamwork and unity in the face of adversity are the truest demonstrations of patriotism. When we work together, we are successful. That applies to voting in Leon County, and to the future of our nation.

Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley

Did you know?

If you want a vote-by-mail ballot, you have to request it. (Deadline: Oct. 24.)

There are three ways to request: Mail in the form, go online to LeonVotes.gov or call 850-606-8683.

Ignore the misinformation on social media. Your ballot only needs one stamp.

The U.S. Postal Service says that it can take up to a week to deliver your ballot, so the sooner you mail it, the better.

Ballots must be received by the Supervisor of Elections by 7 p.m. Election Day, Nov. 3.

You can also deliver your ballot to a drop box at any early voting location or to the elections office. These boxes are staffed and secure – they’re not left out overnight.

Mark Earley is the Supervisor of Elections of Leon County.

https://www.tallahassee.com/story/opinion/2020/09/06/voting-mail-worked-primary-lets-do-again-mark-earley/5703601002/

  • 8 September 2020
  • Author: Outreach
  • Number of views: 267
  • Comments: 0
Categories: 2020
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Mark S. Earley
Leon County Supervisor of Elections

OFFICE ADDRESS: 2990-1 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee FL 32301
MAILING ADDRESS: Leon County Supervisor of Elections Office P.O Box 7357, Tallahassee FL 32314-7357
P: (850) 606-8683 | F: (850) 606-8601 | E: Vote@LeonCountyFL.gov | Hours: M - F: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

PLEASE NOTE: Under Florida law, email addresses are public records. If you do not want your email address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing. Florida Statute 668.6076.