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WUSF Public Media is focused on empowering your participation in democracy this election season. We’ve created places where you can ask questions about the election process, the issues and candidates. That feedback will inform the reporting you see here. We’re listening.

Here's how to make sure your mail-in ballot gets counted

stack of mail-in ballots
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More than more than 15,000 vote-by-mail ballots statewide have been flagged for having a mismatched signature or no signature at all.

More than 2.4 million Floridians have already cast their ballots for the upcoming election by mail.

But what if your ballot got rejected on a technicality? Here's how you can make sure your vote counts.

More than 15,000 vote-by-mail ballots statewide have been flagged for having a mismatched signature or no signature at all. That's according to a study by the advocacy group Common Cause Florida.

The study cites Florida elections data analyzed by Dan A. Smith, chair of the University of Florida’s political science department and a member of Common Cause Florida’s advisory board.

Of the 15,714 flagged ballots:

  • 9,090 had return envelopes flagged for mismatched signatures
  • 5,167 are missing signatures on the envelope
  • 1,457 had other “voter caused errors” 

Those ballots could be rejected — but voters still can take action.

It's called having your ballot "cured." Each county supervisor of elections has a ballot tracking tool on their website. You can go there to see whether the tracker shows an issue with your ballot.

Voters can also call their supervisor of elections office to see what they need to do.

Amy Keith is Common Cause Florida’s program director.

"If you're voting by mail, you can go on to that tool. And it really empowers the voter to check their vote-by-mail status themselves," she said.

If there is a problem, she said it is easy to fix.

"So in general, the process would be they have to fill out a formthat's called the vote-by-mail cure affidavit, they need to fill out that form. And they also need to provide a copy or photo of their identification, and then they need to submit all of that to their supervisor of elections office,” she said.

Because it's so close to election day, you can email or deliver that form in person — as long as it gets there by 5 p.m. on Thursday.

To cure a signature issue on their vote-by-mail ballot, voters need to:

  • Fill out this form.
  • Provide a copy (or photo) of the required forms of identification.
  • Submit the signed form and copy of identification by email, fax, or delivery to their county supervisor of elections office by 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10. 
  • A person other than the voter can drop off of the signed form and copy of identification as well. 

Our journalists are independent, curious, respectful, and accountable to you. We’re committed to keeping you at the center of this conversation on democracy, staying in touch through surveys, social media, and in-person events. We won’t be chasing politicians, but instead we’ll tell stories based on the questions you want answered.

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
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