Stay safe – vote by mail

  • Lori Edwards
    Lori Edwards

Submitted by Lori Edwards, Supervisor of Elections, Polk County:

We’re all pretty certain that the shape of our near-term future is uncertain.

At your Supervisor of Elections office, we are busy planning for the unknown. Will voters be willing to go to their polling location? Will building owners be willing to open their doors to voters as a precinct? And, will poll workers, the backbone of our democracy, be willing to work all day serving the public on Election Day?  It’s enough to keep a Supervisor of Elections awake all night!

Let’s make this easier. Vote by mail is the best option to ensure the health of voters and election workers. Many voters enjoy the tradition of going to their polling location, visiting with the workers and casting their ballot in person on Election Day.  Agreed. It’s a very special event that should be preserved. Just consider skipping it this year, like the big parties and the sporting events.

Traditionally called absentee ballots, voting by mail has been gaining popularity for decades. About one-third of Florida voters chose that option in recent elections. 

Mail ballots offer voters the convenience of voting where and when they want to vote, perhaps while sipping coffee at the kitchen table, or in front of the computer while doing some last-minute research.

This year there’s the added benefit of social distance. No standing in line or sharing your identification card with an election worker.

There’s a few recurrent myths about mail ballots that should be put to rest. First, have you heard the one about mail ballots not being counted?  False! In fact, you’re invited to come see the mail ballots being counted at the Supervisor of Elections office. 

Claims of widespread fraud have made the rounds, yet evidence of this has not surfaced.  The voter’s signature on every ballot envelope is compared to their signature on file to verify identity. Tight security measures and stringent accounting underscore best practices to safeguard all mail ballots.

Protecting our health in 2020 has meant doing without favorite community events, shopping trips, even visits with friends and neighbors. Your home has become your office, your classroom and your place of worship. But staying safe will not curtail your right to vote. Let’s make your home your polling station.  Request your mail ballot today.