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Voting by mail expected to set records in November

With health experts predicting a second wave of the coronavirus could coincide with flu season, voting by mail in the November election will likely be the option a record number of Americans will use.
With health experts predicting a second wave of the coronavirus could coincide with flu season, voting by mail in the November election will likely be the option a record number of Americans will use.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With health experts predicting a second wave of the coronavirus could coincide with flu season, voting by mail in the November election will likely be the option a record number of Americans will use.

This comes after a record number of Floridians voted by mail in the August primary and a majority of voters around the country are using the U.S. mail to avoid in-person voting despite precautions taken by election supervisors during the pandemic.

In Duval County, about 123,000 voters requested mail ballots for the primary and 57,612 returned them. Of those, 1,346 of those were disqualified -- 919 of them because they were not returned by 7 p.m. on Election Day -- the deadline under state law for the votes to be counted.

″The real problem is the voters wait too late,” Duval County’s Supervisor of Elections Mike Hogan said.

Hogan said another 176 ballots were unsigned, 96 either had no address or the signature didn’t match what was on the voter rolls, and 155 were undeliverable -- all problems he urged voters to take care to avoid.

If you’ve requested to vote by mail in the November election, you can expect your ballot to be mailed to you on Sept. 24, just 40 days before America decides if Donald Trump or Joe Biden will be inaugurated next year. Hogan suggests voting as soon as the ballot arrives to ensure there’s plenty of time for it to get delivered to the elections office.

Most elections offices also offer an online tool to allow voters to check and see if their ballot has arrived and elections supervisors will contact voters and give them a chance to correct it if something is wrong with the ballot received.

If you would like to vote by mail, the deadline to request a ballot to be mailed is Oct. 24. The next day, vote-by-mail ballots can be picked up at the elections office in your county. In Duval and some other counties, they can be returned there or in collection boxes that will be set up at all early voting sites -- which are open for at least 10 days before the general election.

Total votes in Aug. 18 primaryVoted by mail
Florida2,342,751
Alachua County61,22733,706
Baker County6,8661,715
Bradford County7,3332,704
Clay County52,06017,731
Columbia County13,6655,158
Duval County161,93257,612
Flagler County27,07316,460
Nassau County26,07810,881
Putnam County14,5054,352
St. Johns County58,92025,731
Union County3,527859

Source: Florida Department of Elections


About the Author:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.