Vote-by-Mail: Everything you need to know

By Charles Magoffin, Charlotte County Dems writer

With coronavirus infections on the rise statewide, a more significant number of Florida voters than ever plan to vote by mail (VBM) November 3rd. If you’ve never taken advantage of this convenient service or are troubled by the claims of potential fraud, please read further.

Let’s set the record straight on the history of VBM fraud. Part 3 of my voting series covers actual cases and the bogus claims from the current administration. A review of these voting fraud claims should give you confidence that VBM is safe.

There is good news regarding Florida developments that you may find reassuring. Recently U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle signed off on a settlement agreement reached by the state and left-leaning groups over Florida’s VBM procedures.

The agreement requires Secretary of State Laurel Lee to educate and encourage county supervisors of elections about a variety of VBM procedures that were at the heart of the case.

Furthermore, the state’s top election official must educate supervisors about pre-paid postage for mail-in ballots. The settlement will also encourage local elections officials “to maximize the use of drop boxes for VBM ballots” and inform voters about the availability of the ballot drop-off sites.

In other Florida developments, a new poll conducted for AARP Florida and Florida Politics reveals that a more significant than ever number of voters plan to utilize VBM and also shows the vast majority trust in that process.

Sixty-five percent said they feel “very secure” (43.8 percent) or “somewhat secure” (21.4 percent) submitting their ballot via mail, while 86 percent said they trust their local supervisor of elections. Additionally, a resounding 93 percent said they had not lost trust in America’s voting systems. 

AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson said. “As we head toward the presidential primary, we want to make sure Floridians understand their voting options and feel safe casting their ballot.” Florida Politics Founder Peter Schorsch said. “If this poll shows anything, it’s that Floridians trust democracy.”

An excellent site (Voting by Mail in Florida: FAQ’s) will answer all your frequently asked questions. Even surprising facts like “when are VBM ballots counted?” How about if I’m concerned my signature has changed over time? The site covers these (and twelve other) essential questions in detail and provides additional links for further reading.

Last Tuesday, 7/21, Trump tweeted: “Mail-In Voting, unless changed by the courts, will lead to the most CORRUPT ELECTION in our Nation’s History! #RIGGEDELECTION”

Not on our watch! We need to communicate the facts about the safety and security of VBM just as loudly to counter these lies. Let’s turn Charlotte County VBM ballots BLUE by spreading the truth! Protect yourself (from COVID-19) and your vote. Easily, conveniently and legally register for VBM in Charlotte County here

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