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Crucial reminder for mail ballots in Florida

3:23 PM, Oct 16, 2012   |    comments
  • Dennis Myers sorts newly printed envelopes for mail ballots in Leon County.
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Tallahassee, Florida - Just three weeks left to Election Day and nearly 400,000 Floridians have already cast their absentee ballots.

Supervisors of elections continue to postmark and send out more mail ballots, but so far nearly two million have been delivered to Floridians. Mail ballots are the most convenient way to vote, but your ballot won't count if you don't sign the outside of the envelope.

Supervisors say that's one of the main problems with absentee ballots. People don't sign the envelope and then their ballot gets tossed out. Elections officials compare the signature on every mail ballot to the voter registration file.

"Forgetting to sign the envelope - that is probably the number one reason for failing to count an absentee ballot. So make sure that when you return that absentee ballot that on that outside envelope, which we call the affidavit envelope that you sign where you're supposed to," said Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho.

Thousands of absentee ballots were rejected in the August primary because they were not signed.

Sancho also reminds voters that no one can sign your absentee ballot for you - not your spouse or even power of attorney.

"Spouses and power of attorneys cannot sign that ballot. We always see one or two ballots come in signed with someone else's signature saying power of attorney. Power of attorney does not work for absentee ballot. If you have had a stroke or a serious change in your ability to sign, for example, all you have to do is a new signature update. And if you can only make a mark, we'll accept a mark."

Dave Heller

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