Guest Column: Elections Office follows statutory schedule

Guest Column: Elections Office follows statutory schedule

Vicky C. Oakes
St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections

Dear Historic City News readers:

I want to take this opportunity to educate our voters on important information about the elections process.

The law mandates when Supervisors of Elections must “close the books” for an election, as well as when to distribute “vote by mail” ballots.

In Florida, a voter must be registered to vote at least 29-days prior to an election; the date the registration book closes.

In addition to new registrations, address changes and, in a primary election, political party affiliation, must be changed prior to the registration book closing date.

For example these are the deadlines for the current primary election:

• Overseas and military voters are mailed their ballots 45 days prior to an election (July 15th)
• Domestic voters are mailed their ballots between 35 days and 28 days prior to an election (July 26th – August 2nd)
• Registration Book Closing is 29 days prior to an election (August 1st)

Because the registration book closing date and ballot mailing dates overlap, when a voter makes a change close to the registration deadline, in some cases, their “vote by mail” ballot is already in the mail.

Once the change is processed, an updated ballot is mailed to the voter. Even though two ballots were mailed, only the latest ballot is eligible to be voted and returned in any election.

Over 21,000 “vote by mail” ballots have been requested and mailed to date for the August 30th Primary Election. Several hundred have been returned to the Elections Office as undeliverable from the Post Office.

It is your responsibility to keep your address updated with the Elections Office. If you requested a ballot and have not received it, please contact the Elections Office immediately. We can update your address and have a replacement ballot mailed to you. We will answer any questions, concerns or provide any assistance needed with voting by mail.

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