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Politics / Issues

Here's What You Need To Know To Vote By Mail In Tampa Bay

People casting their votes at polling booths
WUSF Staff
With over 3 million registered voters, Tampa Bay is making sure mail-in voting is an option amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As coronavirus cases continue to rise in Florida, people are looking for alternate ways to vote in the upcoming primary and general elections.

With almost 3 million registered voters in Tampa Bay, many are turning to vote-by-mail to avoid long lines and possible spread at polling locations.

Florida has had “no excuse vote-by-mail” ballots since 2002, so voters don’t need to provide a reason when registering to vote by mail.

“It is a safe, convenient way to vote, so people should feel confident about it,” said Craig Latimer, Hillsborough County’s Supervisor of Elections.

“And it's a great alternative during this time so that people don't have to come out and possibly expose themselves to this virus.”

The deadlines to register for vote-by-mail are:

  • 5pm August 8 for the August 18 Florida primary
  • 5pm October 24 for the November 3 general election

Ballots cannot be forwarded, so make sure to include a current mailing address during registration.
The signature on mail-in ballot envelopes must match the one on file with the county and all ballots must be received-- not postmarked-- by 7pm on Election Day.

On Election Day, mail-in ballots can only be dropped off at election offices, and, if anyone changes their mind, mail-in ballots can be canceled when checking in to vote in person.

Here’s what you need to know to make sure your mail-in ballot is counted in your county.

Hillsborough

  • Hillsborough offers postage-paid return ballots, so no stamps needed
  • Curbside drop-off tents will be available at all 24 early-voting locations
  • Request and track your vote-by-mail ballot here

Pinellas

Pasco

  • This is the first year Pasco will provide prepaid postage on all mail-in ballots
  • Mail-in ballots can be dropped off in-person at any of the 11 early voting sites or one of three election offices through Election Day.
  • Request and track your vote-by-mail ballot here

Polk

  • Mail-in ballot drop-off will be available at both election offices and all early voting locations
  • Request and track your vote-by-mail ballot here

Sarasota

Manatee