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As of July 1, 2016, the term "Absentee Ballot" has changed to "Vote-by-Mail Ballot". Language on our website has been updated accordingly. For additional information, please refer to Chapter 2016-37, Laws of Florida .
Vote-by-mail refers to voting a ballot received by mail or picked up by or for a voter who is unable or unwilling to go to the polls to vote during early voting or Election Day. A voter does not have to be absent from the county of residence or have an excuse in order to vote-by-mail except on Election Day (see details below). A request covers all elections through the end of the calendar year for the second ensuing regularly scheduled general election.
To receive a vote-by-mail ballot, the voter or authorized person must make a request in one of the following ways:
For those making the request on behalf of themselves, the following information is required:
If a request is being made on behalf of an immediate family member or legal guardian, the following additional information must be provided:
The deadline to request that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed is no later than 5 p.m. on the 6th day before the election. Otherwise, a vote-by-mail ballot can be picked-up until and including on Election Day. However, the ballot must still be received by the Supervisor of Elections no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day if the voted ballot is to count.
If a voter forgets to sign their certificate with the returned vote-by-mail ballot, he or she may still have the opportunity to correct the omission by completing and returning an Omitted Signature Affidavit for Vote-by-Mail Ballot (DS-DE 139 - English PDF / Español PDF ), along with a copy of his or her identification. The deadline to submit the Affidavit, however, is no later than 5 p.m. on the day before the election. Failure to follow the instructions carefully may cause his or her ballot not to count.
Any voter who has requested a vote-by-mail ballot can track the status of his or her ballot online through the Voter Information tool.
The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) works to ensure Service members, their eligible family members and overseas citizens are aware of their right to vote and have the tools and resources to successfully do so - from anywhere in the world.
The Director of FVAP administers the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) on behalf of the Secretary of Defense. UOCAVA, as amended by the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, requires States to transmit requested absentee ballots to UOCAVA voters no later than 45 days before a federal election. Those citizens protected by UOCAVA include:
FVAP assists voters through partnerships with the Military Services, Department of State, Department of Justice and election officials from 50 States, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.