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Hillsborough ballots for Florida's primary election will soon hit mailboxes

A forklift operator loads a palate of brown boxes with green tags into the bag of a large truck, where two men settle them into place.
Daylina Miller
/
WUSF Public Media
A forklift operated by Hillsborough County supervisor of elections employees loaded more than twenty five pallets of ballots onto two large moving trucks for delivery to the post office Thursday.

So far, more than 321,000 voters in Hillsborough County have requested mail-in ballots.

A forklift operated by Hillsborough County supervisor of elections employees loaded more than 25 pallets of ballots onto two large moving trucks for delivery to the post office Thursday.

More than 321,000 voters in Hillsborough County have requested mail-in ballots, on top of 6,000 overseas military and civilian ballots that have already been sent out.

Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer said he's confident in the security of the vote-by-mail process.

In Florida, the only people who can get a vote-by-mail ballot is a registered voter who has requested one.

“When we get those envelopes back with the oath on there, they have to provide a signature, and we look at every one of these signatures and match them against the signatures we have on file or compare him against the signatures we have on file,” Latimer said.

a man with a white goatee and glasses and blue button up shirt stands inside a warehouse.
Daylina Miller
/
WUSF Public Media
Craig Latimer, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, says he's confidence in the security of the vote-by-mail process.

Latimer says that in Hillsborough County, about one-third of voters choose mail-in voting, with another third voting early, and another third voting on Election Day.

Those numbers were skewed the last two years by the pandemic, which made mail-in voting higher.

Voters can request a mail-in ballot up until Aug. 13. They must be mailed in 10 days before the election, or dropped off at an early voting site or one of the county’s supervisor of elections offices. They cannot be dropped off at polling sites on election day.

Anyone who wants to register to vote, or change their party affiliation, must do so by July 25.

The Canvassing Board also met for a public test of ballot scanners that will be used in the 2022 Primary Election.

Florida's Supervisors of Elections will perform this Logic & Accuracy Test before every election. During the test, staff members scanned stacks of pre-filled ballots into a random selection of the ballot scanners that will be used for all three methods of voting (early voting, vote by mail, and Election Day voting).

The results of the scan will be compared to the expected results to confirm that the scanners are reading every position on the ballot and counting votes accurately.

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.