South Florida voters: Why wouldn’t your mail-in ballot count?

There are certain precautions to take to make sure your vote is verified

DORAL, Fla. – “Voting by mail is definitely secure and safe but there are a few things you have to get right,” Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections Christina White emphasized on the day hundreds of thousands of ballots were shipping out from election headquarters in Doral.

Make sure your vote is counted by filling out all of your contact information and don’t forget to sign the red box.

A missing signature is usually the No. 1 reason why a ballot is not verified.

Also, there are areas where you can include your telephone number and your email. It says optional but include it. White says if there is something missing or a reason your ballot cannot be verified and they have your information, a ballot worker will notify you if something is missing.

That is, if your ballot is received early enough.

White can’t stress that enough. “It’s very important that you get it back to us as soon as possible.”

Many early votes are tossed because people forget to sign their mail-in ballot envelopes.

Not sure if you’re registered to vote? Check here.

How election officials try to help: Supervisor of elections offices in all counties try to reach as many voters as possible to rectify the problem. More than a week before Election Day, officials mail back to voters problematic early ballots for correction. With less than a week to go, officials contact voters by phone or email.

White said make sure they have the correct signature on file. This can come from when you’ve renewed a driver license or some other statewide form.

If you think your signature has changed over time, update it by filling out a paper voter-registration form.

After you send it in, check if you ballot has arrived.

>In Miami-Dade County, click here.

>In Broward County, click here.

>In Monroe County, click here.

On Thursday, half a million ballots left the Doral headquarters on their way to Miami-Dade County voters.

“It’s an exciting here in Miami-Dade County. We are mailing more than 530,000 vote-by-mail ballots to our voters in the county that have already put in a request," White said.

[GET ELECTION READY: Local’s Election Guide]

Keep an eye on your mailbox over the next few days. Broward County’s mail-in ballots have gone out already.

If you don’t plan to vote in person, you have until Oct. 24 to submit your request for mail-in-ballot.

Whether you mail your ballot or drop it off, it has to be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3. The earlier the better because to say there are plenty of mail in ballots to be counted this year is an understatement.

“We have around 120,000 more ballots that we are mailing out today in the initial run than we have had in entire elections in the past,” White said.

If you would rather drop your ballot off in person, there are drop off locations through all counties.

Vote-By-Mail Drop Off Locations

  • 24 vote-by-mail drop-off locations will be available in Broward County ahead of Election Day. Click here to find out where.
  • Where are the vote-by-mail drop off location in Miami-Dade County? Click here for the complete list.
  • 5 vote-by-mail drop-off locations will be available in Monroe County. Click here for the list.

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About the Authors:

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local

Saira Anwer joined the Local 10 News team in July 2018. Saira is two-time Emmy-nominated reporter and comes to South Florida from Madison, Wisconsin, where she was working as a reporter and anchor.