Vote-by-Mail: Safe, effective, and only positive side effects-Step 3

By Charles Magoffin, Charlotte County Dem writer

Editor’s note: This is Step 3 (ballot delivery and tracking) of a 3-Step series. Step 1 reviewed voter registration, and Step 2 requesting a ballot.

You’ve registered to vote (Step 1) and requested a vote-by-mail ballot (VBM), as shown in (Step 2). If you haven’t done either, do it now and don’t procrastinate! It’s not too late!

For domestic voters, the initial batch of VBM ballots will be mailed to those who have requested them between the 40th (September 24) and 33rd (October 1) days before an election. Subsequent mailings will be sent daily as new requests are received.

Now comes the important part: fill out the ballot correctly, remember to SIGN on the outside of the envelope, and place it into the postage-free envelope provided by the secretary of elections (SOE). Watch this VIDEO to familiarize yourself with the steps to correctly fill and sign your ballot!

If you do this immediately upon receiving your ballot, or at least seven days before (October 26) the November 3 election, the USPS has indicated that is enough time to deliver your ballot on time. Details on how the postal service is handling VBM can be found here:

You can also check online to see when your ballot was requested, sent, received, and counted. Go to and select the registration option from the left-hand column. Submit your name and birthdate. The screen on the left side shows your info under ‘upcoming elections.’ If a ballot has been recorded as ‘received,’ that means the signature matched correctly.

If you’re uncertain about the USPS delivery, you have a great option of using the drop boxes (starting with early voting) located at the three early voting sites. Early Voting for the 2020 General election begins Monday, October 19, and is open daily 7 am – 7 pm until Sunday, November 1. There are three (3) Early Voting Locations in Charlotte County:

Mac V. Horton West County Annex – 6868 San Casa Drive, Englewood, FL 34224

Mid County Regional Library – 2050 Forrest Nelson Boulevard, Port Charlotte, FL 33952

Charlotte Co. Historic Courthouse – 226 Taylor Street, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

These drop boxes will be securely placed inside each of these facilities. For any questions, call the SOE at (941) 833-5400 or visit their website

If, for whatever reason, you’re unsure of the process above, call the Charlotte County Democratic office at (941) 258-3542, and they will answer your questions or direct you to the proper resources.

Make your vote count by taking this Step 3: Complete and mail your ballot as soon as you receive it. It’s safe, effective, and just the medicine we need!