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Deadline to request vote-by-mail ballot for General Election this weekend

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Posted at 5:04 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 17:24:45-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — With the election under two weeks away, voters have just one day left to request a mail-in ballot for the November election. That deadline is Saturday, Oct. 24 at 5 p.m.

“Right on the secrecy sleeve, we put on it to allow 8 days to return it,” said Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer. “We’re seeing mail moving better than that, but that’s a crunch at the end.”

Hillsborough County election officials remind voters they can also drop off their mail-in ballot at an elections office or an early voting site. They've even set up curbside ballot boxes for voters to drive up and drop off their ballots seamlessly.

Most importantly, voters need to sign the return envelope and election officials say they must receive your vote by mail ballot by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3, for it to count. Voters should make sure their signature matches what election officials have on file.

“Right now, we’ve got about 600 ballots where the people, 200 of them forgot to sign it,” said Latimer. “The other ones were signature mismatched, and we’ve already helped voters cure 150 of those.”

Latimer says on the back of the envelope, there are spaces for you to give a number or email address where they can quickly contact you if there’s a problem. If you don’t give any information, he says they will send you a letter immediately.

“The voter can track that ballot too, whether they drop it at the dropbox or the mail,” said Latimer. “They can go on our website and track that ballot back and see when it was received and when it was counted.”

Latimer also reminds voters you can’t drop your mail-in ballot at a polling site on Election Day. He recommends, however, you choose to vote to have a plan in place, as waiting to the last minute could lead to headaches.

“When you get up that morning, I hope you’re not sick or somebody you’re taking care of isn’t sick, that you don’t have car trouble, and you don’t have anything that gets in the way to knock you out of voting,” said Latimer.

Election officials say you don’t have to wait until the last minute if you still want a vote-by-mail ballot. You can request one online or call (813) 612-4180.