Everyone, on both sides of the political aisle, needs to make sure their vote is counted. This year, voters in Palm Beach County have a lot of options. Voters in neighboring counties do too; just check with your local Supervisor of Elections for specifics. In Palm Beach County, there are three ways to vote:
- VOTING BY MAIL
- Maybe, like me, you always avoided voting by mail. Perhaps you were concerned that your vote would not count or maybe you just like going to the polling place in person. With the uncertainty of COVID-19 and with increased security and tracking measures, you should not be afraid to request a Vote by Mail ballot.
- IMPORTANT: Requesting a Vote by Mail ballot now does not mean that you must use it. You can later change your mind and vote in person.
- You can make an online request that your ballot be mailed to you https://palmbeach.electionsfl.org/Voters/Mail-Ballot-Request-Service, or simply call the Supervisor of Elections, (561) 656-6200.
- You must act relatively quickly, though. The deadline to request that a Vote by Mail ballot be mailed to you is no later than 5 PM on the 10th day before the election. (This year, the primary election is August 18 and the general election is November 3). If you miss this deadline, you can visit one of the Supervisor of Elections’ offices and they will print a mail ballot for you. Alternatively, you can vote in person during Early Voting or on Election Day.
- You can return your ballot by mail (the postage is even pre-paid), at any early voting location if you do not trust the mail (you just deposit it in a secure drop box – it does not involve waiting in the same line as those voting), or in person at any of the Supervisor of Elections’ four offices.
- You can easily go online and track both your request and your ballot to make sure it was counted.
- Especially this year, it makes sense to go ahead and request a Vote by Mail ballot now. We do not know what may happen with COVID-19. Again, you can always simply bring the requested ballot with you when you go to vote in person, and it will be canceled. If you forget to bring it, there is a mechanism in place for the poll workers to confirm that the Vote by Mail ballot was not received, and you will then be able to vote a regular ballot.
- EARLY VOTING
- As in the past, you can vote at any Early Voting site in Palm Beach County. You are not limited to your designated polling place like you are on Election Day.
- For the upcoming primary, Early Voting will be held Monday, August 3, 2020, through Sunday, August 16, 2020, from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
- Early Voting locations will be released approximately 30 days before Election Day.
- Some Early Voting locations from past elections will change due to COVID-19. It is best to check before going to vote.
- VOTING ON ELECTION DAY
- This is the most restrictive option. You are limited to voting at your designated polling place from 7:00 AM to 7 PM. If you do not know where to go, you can find your precinct here: https://www.pbcelections.org/Voters/Precinct-Finder
www.pbcelections.org/ is extremely user friendly and can help guide you through the process. Now, more than ever, there is no reason not to make your vote count.
This blog is written by Firm Partner Mickey Smith.