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Vote-by-Mail (formerly Absentee Voting)

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 .

What is Vote-by-Mail?

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.

Requesting a Ballot

To receive a vote-by-mail ballot, the voter or authorized person must make a request in one of the following ways:

  • Online application
  • In person at the Lake County Supervisor of Elections office, located at 315 W. Main St., Suite 144, Tavares, FL 32778
  • By telephone at 352-343-9734
  • In writing
    • Email: hays@lakevotes.com
    • Fax: 352-343-3605
    • Mail: Lake County Supervisor of Elections, P.O. Drawer 457, Tavares, FL 32778

For those making the request on behalf of themselves, the following information is required:

  • The name of the voter for whom the ballot is being requested;
  • The voter's address;
  • The voter's date of birth; and
  • The voter's signature (if the request is written)

If a request is being made on behalf of an immediate family member or legal guardian, the following additional information must be provided:

  • The requestor's address;
  • The requestor's driver's license number (if available);
  • The requestor's relationship to the voter; and
  • The requestor's signature (if the request is written)

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.

Correcting a Missing Signature on a Vote-by-Mail Ballot

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.

Tracking a Vote-by-Mail Ballot Request & Returned Ballot

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.

Federal Voting Assistance Program (Uniformed Military and Overseas Citizens)

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:

  • Members of the Uniformed Services (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps)
  • Members of the Merchant Marines
  • Eligible family members of the above
  • U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S.

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.

Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program for more information about the program, download the necessary Election Material forms , or view their online Voting Assistance Guide .

Stay Informed!