Vote-by-Mail FAQ



What is a Vote-by-Mail ballot?


A Vote-by-Mail ballot is a service offered by the Supervisor of Elections for registered voters who do not wish to vote in person.

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Who can vote a Vote-by-Mail ballot?


Any registered voter in Collier County may request a Vote-by-Mail ballot.

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How do I vote my Vote-by-Mail ballot?

 

Voters must personally vote the ballot (unless assistance is required due to blindness, disability, or inability to read or write).

  • Completely fill in the ovals corresponding to the candidate and/or referendums of choice.

  • Place the completed ballot in the enclosed secrecy sleeve (also known as a secrecy "envelope").

  • Place both the ballot and the secrecy sleeve in the return envelope provided. (Please note: failure to include the secrecy sleeve DOES NOT invalidate the ballot.)

  • In order for the Vote-by-Mail ballot to be counted, the voter must sign or apply their legal mark in the box below the voter certificate on the return envelope.

    • The signature must reasonably match the signature of registration.

    • A signature as Power of Attorney will not be accepted. The ballot will not be counted. (See Signature Updates page)        

  • The Vote-by-Mail ballot may be returned by mail, express, or in person to the Supervisor of Elections office.

    • Voted ballots cannot be accepted at a polling place or an early voting site.        

  • Affix appropriate postage for Vote-by-Mail ballots returned via mail.

  • Voted ballots must be received by the Supervisor of Elections office no later than 7:00 p.m. on Election Day to be counted; a postmark does not count.

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How important is my signature when voting by mail?

 

A voter's signature is crucial in the Vote-by-Mail process. When voters cast a Vote-by-Mail ballot, Florida election law requires each voter to sign a Voter’s Certificate on the back of the return envelope. While an exact match of a voter’s signature is not required, the signature must reasonably match the signature of record.

Click here to learn more about the importance of updating your signature before you Vote-by-Mail or contact our office: (239) 252-VOTE (8683).


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What if I request a Vote-by-Mail ballot and then decide to vote at the polls?

 

  • A registered voter who requested a Vote-by-Mail ballot but decides to vote at the polls should surrender the Vote-by-Mail ballot at the polls so it may be cancelled.

  • A registered voter who requested a Vote-by-Mail ballot but cannot surrender the Vote-by-Mail ballot will be allowed to vote a regular ballot. After voting in person, we request that the voter destroy their original Vote-by-Mail ballot if they left it at home or if they come across it in the future.

  • A person who requested and returned a Vote-by-Mail ballot to the Supervisor of Elections office may not go to the polls to vote. Voters who vote more than once in the same election commit a felony and will be turned over to the appropriate authorities for prosecution.

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What if I am in the military or an overseas voter?


Military Personnel, Military Dependants, and Overseas Civilian Voters may apply for voter registration and/or request Vote-by-Mail ballots using the online request form, by phone, or by sending a written request to the Supervisor of Elections Office. They may also apply with a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) which may be obtained from the Unit Voting Officer or by visiting http://www.fvap.gov/

U.S. Embassies and Consulates can assist in completing FPCA forms, and mailing Vote-by-Mail ballots or other election materials.

Per Florida Statute 101.6952(5):

“A Vote-by-Mail ballot from an overseas voter in any presidential preference primary or general election which is postmarked or dated no later than the date of the election and is received by the supervisor of elections of the county in which the overseas voter is registered no later than 10 days after the date of the election shall be counted as long as the Vote-by-Mail ballot is otherwise proper.”

Additional information is available from: 

http://www.fvap.gov/
FEDERAL VOTING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (FVAP)
Toll-free 800-438-8683

Vote-by-Mail request information for Military Personnel, Military Dependants and Overseas Civilian Voters:

  • Military Personnel, Military Dependants and Overseas Civilian Voters (or their immediate family members on their behalf) may request a Vote-by-Mail ballot online, by mail, fax, telephone, or by completing the Federal Post Card Application: https://www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/Forms/fpca2013.pdf

  • All Absent Military and Overseas Civilian Voters may receive a ballot by mail, fax, or email.

  • The United States Postal Service may forward mail for Military and Overseas Voters if an unexpired forwarding address is on file.

  • Stateside Military Voters may not return voted ballots by fax.

  • Only Overseas Military and Overseas Civilian Voters may return voted ballots by fax.
         ~ Send by fax to: (239) 252-2630, or
         ~ Ballots may be returned by mail, or express, but please allow sufficient time for delivery to us.

  • No voted Vote-by-Mail ballots returned by email shall be counted.

 

An online "Vote-by-Mail Ballot Request Form" or fax request must include:

  • Name of the voter requesting the ballot

  • Voter's date of birth

  • Voter's county of legal residence in Florida or last legal Collier County residential address

  • Voter's signature (when applicable)

  • Military, Military Dependant or Civilian Overseas status

  • Address stateside, APO/FPO/DPO or other overseas address, and
         ~ if the voter requests the ballot sent by email, an email address
         ~ if the voter requests the ballot faxed, a fax number
         ~ if the voter requests the ballot mailed, a deliverable address

  • Upon verification of the voter's eligibility, the Supervisor of Elections office will provide the appropriate Vote-by-Mail ballot, voter certificate, instructions for voting and instructions for returning the ballot and voter certificate.

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Can I send a Vote-by-Mail ballot to an address other than my legal residence?


  • Yes. Your Vote-by-Mail ballot may be sent to your permanent mailing address, or a temporary address.

  • When sending a Vote-by-Mail ballot to an address not on file with the Florida Voter Registration System, a request must be in writing and signed by the voter.

  • The Registration System records your legal residence address. The System may also keep record of a permanent mailing address different than residence address, and may include prior election specific Vote-by-Mail ballot addresses.

  • Written signed requests may be made by mail, fax (239-252-2630) or as an attachment to email (MailBallot@colliergov.net).

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