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WHAT IS A VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT?

Voting by mail is a service offered by the Supervisor of Elections for registered voters who do not wish to vote in person. Any registered voter can vote by mail. Formerly known as "absentee voting," voters no longer need an excuse to cast their ballot by mail. Voting by mail is an easy and convenient way to make your voice heard in the next election. 

 

HOW DO I REQUEST A VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT?

Contact the Supervisor of Elections office to request a Vote-by-Mail ballot by selecting one of the following:

Written requests must be signed by the voter.

To request a Vote-by-Mail ballot, the voter must provide the following information:

  • Name

  • Legal residence address

  • Date of birth

  • Florida Driver License number, Florida ID number or the last four digits of their Social Security number

  • Address to which the Vote-by-Mail ballot will be mailed

  • Election(s) for which you are requesting a ballot

 

WHO CAN REQUEST A VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT?

Only the voter, their immediate family member or their legal guardian may request the voter's Vote-by-Mail ballot for any election.

Immediate family members include: spouse, grandparent, parent, child, grandchild, sibling, spouse's grandparent, spouse's parent, spouse's child, spouse's grandchild and spouse's sibling.

If the ballot is requested by an immediate family member as listed above, or their legal guardian, the request must include the above voter's information and also contain the following information by the requestor:

  • Name

  • Legal residence address

  • Florida Driver License number, Florida ID number or the last four digits of their Social Security number (if available)

  • Requestor's relationship to the voter

 

WHERE WILL BY VOTE-BY-MAIL BE SENT?

We will send your ballot to any location you request. If you have recently moved or plan to be in another state or out of the country during the next election, be sure to contact our office to notify us where we should send that ballot. The United States Postal Service cannot forward ballots. If the address you provide to us is not your voting residence and is a new address, you must submit the request in writing.

 

CAN MY BALLOT BE SENT TO AN ADDRESS OTHER THAN MY LEGAL RESIDENCE?

Yes. Your Vote-by-Mail ballot may be sent to your permanent mailing address, or a temporary address.

When sending a Vote-by-Mail ballot to an address not on file with the Florida Voter Registration System, a request must be in writing and signed by the voter.

The Registration System records your legal residence address. The System may also keep record of a permanent mailing address different than residence address, and may include prior election specific Vote-by-Mail ballot addresses.

Written signed requests may be made by mail, fax (239-252-2630) or as an attachment to email (MailBallot@CollierVotes.gov).

 

WHEN SHOULD I REQUEST A VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT?

Requests for Vote-by-Mail ballots to be sent by mail must be received no later than 5 p.m. on the 10th day before the election. Voters can request Vote-by-Mail ballots for all elections they are eligible to vote in up to one calendar year.

 

WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT?

For voters who have requested a Vote-by-Mail ballot, mailing begins approximately 40 days prior to each election. After the initial mailing before an election, Vote-by-Mail ballots are mailed every other business day.

 

CAN I PICK UP MY VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT PRIOR TO ELECTION DAY?

Yes, for voters with extenuating circumstances, not as a substitute for the three primary methods of voting.

Early voting, Election Day voting and voting a Vote-by-Mail ballot by mail are the primary methods of voting. However, any qualified voter may pick up their own Vote-by-Mail ballot at the Supervisor of Elections office by requesting one day in advance to allow for preparation.

If you require a Vote-by-Mail ballot pick-up, contact the Supervisor of Elections office at (239) 252-VOTE (8683) to make arrangements.

 

CAN I PICK UP SOMEONE ELSE'S VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT PRIOR TO ELECTION DAY?

Yes, under extenuating cirumstances a designee can pick up someone else's ballot. Our office must receive a request one day in advance and it must be authorized by the voter.

A qualified Vote-by-Mail voter may designate, in writing, another person to pick up a Vote-by-Mail ballot for the voter. Vote-by-Mail ballots are available to a designee beginning nine days prior to Election Day. The designee may only pick up 2 Vote-by-Mail ballots per election other than his or her own, except for Vote-by-Mail ballots picked up for members of his or her immediate family. If you require a Vote-by-Mail ballot pick-up, contact the Supervisor of Elections office at (239) 252-VOTE (8683) to make arrangements.

 

CAN I PICK UP A VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT ON ELECTION DAY?

Yes, if there is an emergency.

Except as provided in F.S. 101.655 (those voters living in Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing Facilities who receive assisted voting), the Supervisor of Elections may not deliver a Vote-by-Mail ballot to a voter on the day of the election unless there is an emergency, to the extent that the voter will be unable to go to his or her assigned polling place. If you require a Vote-by-Mail ballot pick-up, contact the Supervisor of Elections office at (239) 252-VOTE (8683) to make arrangements.

If you need someone to pick up your Vote-by-Mail ballot on Election Day:

The qualified Vote-by-Mail voter must designate, in writing, the immediate family member to pick up a Vote-by-Mail ballot for the voter. If you require a Vote-by-Mail ballot pick-up, contact the Supervisor of Elections office at (239) 252-VOTE (8683) to make arrangements.

 

HOW DO I VOTE BY VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT?

Voters must personally vote the ballot (unless assistance is required due to blindness, disability, or inability to read or write).

  • Completely fill in the ovals corresponding to the candidate and/or referendums of choice.

  • Place the completed ballot in the enclosed secrecy sleeve (also known as a secrecy "envelope").

  • Place both the ballot and the secrecy sleeve in the return envelope provided. (Please note: failure to include the secrecy sleeve DOES NOT invalidate the ballot.)

  • In order for the Vote-by-Mail ballot to be counted, the voter must sign or apply their legal mark in the box below the voter certificate on the return envelope.

    • The signature must reasonably match the signature of registration.

    • A signature as Power of Attorney will not be accepted. The ballot will not be counted. (See Update Signature page)

  • The Vote-by-Mail ballot may be returned by mail, express mail, at any drop box location during early voting or in person to the Supervisor of Elections office.

    • Voted ballots cannot be accepted at a polling place on Election Day.

  • Affix appropriate postage for Vote-by-Mail ballots returned via mail (USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.).

  • Vote-by-Mail ballots must be returned to the Supervisor of Elections office at 3750 Enterprise Avenue, Naples FL 34104 by 7 p.m. on Election Day; or by 6 p.m. at the satellite office located at the North Collier Government Service Center: 2335 Orange Blossom Drive, Naples FL 34109.

  • Voted ballots can also be dropped off at a Vote-by-Mail dropbox which is located at each early voting location during the early voting period:

 

IS MY SIGNATURE IMPORTANT WHEN VOTING BY MAIL?

A voter's signature is crucial in the Vote-by-Mail process. When voters cast a Vote-by-Mail ballot, Florida election law requires each voter to sign a Voter’s Certificate on the back of the return envelope. While an exact match of a voter’s signature is not required, the signature must reasonably match the signature of record.

Visit our Voter Signature FAQ page to learn more about the importance of updating your signature before you Vote-by-Mail or contact our office: (239) 252-VOTE (8683).
 

WHY AM I ASKED TO PROVIDE MY PHONE NUMBER AND EMAIL ADDRESS WHEN RETURNING MY VOTED BALLOT?

The information requested on the back of the ballot return envelope is used in an effort to contact voters who may have an issue with their signature. The information is not readily made for the public.
 

HOW DO I TRACK MY VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT?

Voters can track their ballot from the time it is requested to the moment it is tabulated. Visit CollierVotes.com and select “Track my Vote-by-Mail Ballot” under the Vote-by-Mail section. 

Have additional questions regarding the status of your ballot? Visit our Vote-by-Mail Ballot Status page. You can also send an inquiy to MailBallot@CollierVotes.gov or call (239) 252-VOTE (8683).

 

WHAT IF I REQUEST A VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT BUT DECIDE TO VOTE AT THE POLLS?

  • A registered voter who requested a Vote-by-Mail ballot but decides to vote at the polls should surrender the Vote-by-Mail ballot at the polls so it may be cancelled.

  • A registered voter who requested a Vote-by-Mail ballot but cannot surrender the Vote-by-Mail ballot will be allowed to vote a regular ballot. After voting in person, we request that the voter destroy their original Vote-by-Mail ballot if they left it at home or if they come across it in the future.

  • A person who requested and returned a Vote-by-Mail ballot to the Supervisor of Elections office may not go to the polls to vote. Voters who vote more than once in the same election commit a felony and will be turned over to the appropriate authorities for prosecution.

 

HOW DO MILITARY MEMBERS AND VOTERS LIVING OVERSEAS CAST A BALLOT?

Military Personnel, Military Dependents, and Overseas Civilian Voters (or their immediate family members) may apply for voter registration and/or request Vote-by-Mail ballots by applying with a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) which may be obtained from the Unit Voting Officer or by visiting http://www.fvap.gov/. U.S. Embassies and Consulates can assist in completing FPCA forms, and mailing Vote-by-Mail ballots or other election materials.

Voters can also request their Vote-by-Mail ballot online or by contacting the Supervisor of Elections office:

  • By phone: (239) 252-VOTE (8683)

  • By email: MailBallot@CollierVotes.gov

  • By fax: (239) 252-2630

  • By mail/in person: 3750 Enterprise Ave, Naples FL  34104

Per Florida Statute 101.6952(5):

“A Vote-by-Mail ballot from an overseas voter in any presidential preference primary or general election which is postmarked or dated no later than the date of the election and is received by the supervisor of elections of the county in which the overseas voter is registered no later than 10 days after the date of the election shall be counted as long as the Vote-by-Mail ballot is otherwise proper.”

Additional information is available from Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP):
http://www.fvap.gov/
Toll-free 800-438-8683

  • All Absent Military and Overseas Civilian Voters may receive a ballot by mail, fax, or email.

  • The United States Postal Service may forward mail for Military and Overseas Voters if an unexpired forwarding address is on file.

  • Stateside Military Voters may not return voted ballots by fax.

  • Only Overseas Military and Overseas Civilian Voters may return voted ballots by fax.
    ~ Send by fax to: (239) 252-2630, or
    ~ Ballots may be returned by mail, or express, but please allow sufficient time for delivery to us.

  • No voted Vote-by-Mail ballots returned by email shall be counted.

An online "Vote-by-Mail Ballot Request Form" or fax request must include:

  • Name of the voter requesting the ballot

  • Voter's date of birth

  • Florida Driver License number, Florida ID number or the last four digits of their Social Security number

  • Voter's county of legal residence in Florida or last legal Collier County residential address

  • Voter's signature (when applicable)

  • Military, Military Dependent or Civilian Overseas status

  • Address stateside, APO/FPO/DPO or other overseas address, and
    ~ if the voter requests the ballot sent by email, an email address
    ~ if the voter requests the ballot faxed, a fax number
    ~ if the voter requests the ballot mailed, a deliverable address

  • Upon verification of the voter's eligibility, the Supervisor of Elections office will provide the appropriate Vote-by-Mail ballot, voter certificate, instructions for voting and instructions for returning the ballot and voter certificate.

 

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