What You Need to Know About Florida’s New Vote-By-Mail Rules | Opportunity For All Floridians

What You Need to Know About Florida’s New Vote-By-Mail Rules

You may have heard about a new law passed in 2021 that impacts the Florida Vote by Mail process. This new law, SB 90, affects how Vote-By-Mail works in Florida this year. While some things have changed, the bottom line is this: voting by mail is still safe and easy and it works mostly the same in Florida!

Despite SB 90, voting by mail has mostly stayed the same, but there are a few changes to keep in mind, which we’ll go over here.

Here’s what you need to know:

Voters who request to receive a ballot at home are more likely to vote. These voters still have 3 ways to vote:

  1. Vote by mail
  2. Via drop box (now known as a “secure ballot intake station”) 
  3. In-person voting

An additional benefit to registering for Vote By Mail is these voters get their ballot weeks before an election to review if the information is correct and to research the candidates before voting.

Any registered voter can still enroll to Vote by Mail with no excuse needed. Voters can request a ballot for one election or multiple elections. This ballot can be sent to an address other than their registration address if they will be away from home. The deadline to request a ballot is still any time before 5pm on the 10th day before an election.

The methods to enroll are also the same: Online, email, fax, or call. Ballots must be received by the Elections Dept. by 7pm on Election Day (regardless of when it was postmarked). In many counties, mail ballots do not require postage, and can be returned via mail or dropped at a “secure ballot intake station.”

What has changed?

When requesting a mail ballot, a Florida Driver’s License/ ID number or the last 4 digits of a Social Security Number is now required (providing both is recommended but not required).

If you choose to receive a ballot for “all elections,” this request will now expire after every General Election (presidential/Midterm). Previously, requests had been valid for two General Election cycles. Voters who enroll/enrolled after the law went into effect 5/6/21, will need to re-enroll after the 2022 General Election.

Mail Ballot Intake Stations (what we used to call “drop boxes”) will not be available at multiple locations after the end of Early Voting. The only location with a Mail Ballot Intake Station after Early Voting ends, will be the Elections Department.

How to sign up for Vote By Mail:

To enroll: Contact your county supervisor of elections – we link to all of them in our Election Center. If you are already enrolled or if you are not sure, check your status at the same voter information page where you requested your Vote By Mail Ballot. To register to vote or update your name or address, visit: https://www.registertovoteflorida.gov/home. Please visit www.opportunityforallfloridians.org/election-center for more information.

An elections department official from the Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections office sits by a vote-by-mail dropbox outside of Miami Beach City Hall, August 2020.