How To Make Sure Your Vote Counts In A Coronavirus World

July 1, 2020

Dreamstime

The reality of life is that COVID-19 is going to be with us for at least through the end of the year.  That is turning out to be an issue for the upcoming election in November. Election supervisors in Florida have already warned the Governor of the potential problems after the March primary, when supervisors had trouble keeping poll workers, were forced to move polling locations and had difficulty keeping a supply of hand sanitizer available. With so much uncertainty over technical issues, social distancing protocols and an influx of vote by mail ballots, how can you be sure you will be able to vote? And that your vote will be counted properly? First, check your voter registration. Poll workers may say your registration is out of date if you have moved recently or haven’t voted in the past few elections. Next, check the rules for proper identification in your area. Make sure you are prepared with the documents you need when you show up to vote. Approved forms of picture identification in Florida are a Florida driver's license; Florida ID issued by the state, passport, debit or credit card, military ID, student ID, retirement center ID, neighborhood association ID, public assistance ID, veteran health ID card issued by Veterans Affairs and even a concealed carry ID card works. Just remember that if the picture identification does not contain a signature, you will be asked to provide an additional identification with your signature. If you choose to vote by mail (formerly absentee ballot), complete the online application on your county Supervisors of Elections' website or by calling, writing or visiting the Supervisor of Elections. You'll be required to give the name of the voter for whom the ballot is being requested, the voter's address, date of birth and voter's signature card (if the request is written). You do not need to be out of town or sick or have any other excuse to request a ballot. The deadline to request that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed is no later than 5 p.m. on the 10th day before the election (10/24/2020). However, the ballot must still be received by the Supervisor of Elections no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day if the voted ballot is to count. As for postage, some counties pay for the return postage. If you need to affix postage, a forever stamp should do the job. Know that even as the U.S. Postal Service stresses that appropriate postage be affixed, it has long had a policy of not delaying election mail due to insufficient postage. In many cases when that happens, the post office will deliver the mail and charge the county elections office. Finally, if you decide to vote on Election Day, the most important thing to do is stay in line. As long as you are in line before polls close, you will be allowed to vote. People may tell you otherwise, but they are only trying to get you to leave without casting a vote.

SOURCE: Lifehacker

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