NewsPinellas County


Mail ballot requests skyrocket as August primary, November general election near

July 20 is deadline to register for Aug. election
Posted at 5:07 PM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 19:00:18-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. -- You need to act fast if you want to vote in the August 18 primary election. Voter registration ends online at midnight on Monday, July 20.

It comes as election officials on both sides of the bay shatter records for people choosing to vote without having to step foot in a precinct.

Marie Rosenfeld-Fowler, is a Largo voter who is preparing to vote for the very first time in her life.

“I’m not a very political person, but I felt that our vote counts and our voices need to be heard,” she said on her way out of the elections office where she signed up for a mail ballot.

Hundreds of thousands of Floridians are now signing up for mail ballots as a more convenient option and to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 at precincts.

In Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco Counties alone, 732,000 voters have registered to vote by mail in August.

“We have more voters requesting mail ballots, more voters than ever registered to vote so going into these fall elections we are mission-focused, our voters are enthused so it’s really exciting,” Julie Marcus, Pinellas County’s Supervisor of Elections explained.

You won’t see presidential candidates on the August 18 primary. The election focuses on local races for school board, county commissioners, congress members, senators, house representatives, sheriffs and judges.

Yet, election officials are working to ensure your safety any way you choose to vote. That means stocking up on masks, hand sanitizer and touchless ID scanners at polling places.

They’re also adding more designated drop boxes for mail ballots (which can also be dropped into standard mailboxes).

You can also track your ballot online to ensure it is counted.

“It is a safe and secure and reasonable option and we hope voters can take advantage of this going into a presidential election year with a pandemic,” Marcus added.

Officials also want you to circle this date in your calendar: October 5. That’s the deadline to register for the presidential election in November.