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Vote By Mail


***** First Class Mail Service Delivery Change *****

The Postal Service recommends that voters mail ballots one week before the due date to account for any unforeseen events or weather issues and to allow for timely receipt and processing by election officials.


What is Vote-By-Mail voting?
In addition to voting on Election Day at your precinct or voting at an early voting site, you have a third option. Any registered voter may vote by mail.

You may request Vote-By-Mail ballots for all elections that you're eligible to vote in through the end of the year of the second general election from the date of the request (that is, December 31, 2020). Or you may request any one or more specific elections during that period.

Ballots are mailed approximately 30 days prior to an election to those voters who have requests on file. For requests received after the initial mailing, ballots are generally mailed within two business days after the request is received. If you want your ballot mailed to you, Florida Law says your request must be received by the Supervisor of Elections not later than 5:00 pm on the sixth day before the election (Wednesday). Starting on the fifth day before the election (Thursday), a voter may designate another person to pick-up their Vote-By-Mail ballot at the Supervisor of Elections office.

Effective January 1, 2014, as a general rule ballots can no longer be picked up on Election Day.  Only if there is "an emergency, to the extent that the elector will be unable to go to his or her assigned polling place" will ballots be available for pick-up. In that case, the person picking up the Vote-By-Mail ballot must "execute an Election Day Vote-By-Mail Ballot Delivery Affidavit affirming to the facts which allow for delivery of the Vote-By-Mail ballot" and if those facts are untrue the person signing may be subject to the penalties for perjury.

We will mail you a ballot, a pre-addressed return envelope, and a secrecy sleeve that has instructions printed on it. Mark your ballot just as you would at your polling place. You should place your folded ballot inside the secrecy sleeve, although you are not required to do so. Place the ballot inside the return envelope and seal it. Be certain to sign the voter's certificate on the back of the return envelope. Generally you will mail the ballot back to us, being sure to attach the appropriate postage. You may, however, return the ballot to our office or have someone return it for you. Just make certain that the ballot is received in our office not later than 7:00pm on Election Day.

When requesting a Vote-By-Mail ballot, please be aware that the signature on the envelope containing your returned voted ballot will be compared to the signature we have on file for you. Since voters’ signatures sometimes change over time, it is especially important that voters who use Vote-By-Mail ballots make certain that the Supervisor of Elections has on file a copy of your current signature. Voters can file an online registration form to update their signature.

Vote-By-Mail ballots are kept in secure storage until they are tabulated after 7:00pm on Election Day. They are then included with the unofficial results released on election night, unless specifically otherwise stated.

Please note that most municipal elections are NOT included in your request. Municipal elections in Alachua County (except for Gainesville) are administered by the municipalities themselves. You must contact them directly for Vote-By-Mail ballots for their elections.


Who may Vote-By-Mail?
If you are currently a qualified registered voter in Alachua County, you are entitled to Vote-By-Mail.

If you are living in Alachua County temporarily but remain a qualified registered voter in another county or another state, you should request your Vote-By-Mail ballot from the county or state where you are registered.


How do I request a Vote-By-Mail ballot for myself?
You can request Vote-By-Mail ballots via this website, in person, by mail, by telephone or by fax.

Requests must include your:
• name
current legal residence address (no post office boxes)
• date of birth
• signature (mail and fax requests only)

If you previously registered to vote in Alachua County but have now moved elsewhere so that you no longer make your home in this county, you should no longer be registered here and should update your voter registration with the election office in the county or state where you now have your legal residence.

On the other hand, if you will not be at your residence address to receive the ballot because you are merely temporarily away, you must provide a mailing address for the ballot. Vote-By-Mail ballots cannot be forwarded by the US Postal Service.

Website Requests
Requests for a Vote-By-Mail ballot should use our Vote-By-Mail Ballot Request Form.

In person Requests
Requests can be made at the Supervisor of Elections office at 515 N Main Street, Gainesville, FL 32601. Hours are 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Normal holidays apply.

Mail Requests
Requests should be sent to:
Supervisor of Elections
515 N Main Street
Gainesville, FL 32601

Phone Request
Requests can be made by calling (352) 374-5252. Our hours are 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Again, normal holidays apply.

Fax Requests
Requests should be faxed to (352) 374-5264.


How do I request a Vote-By-Mail ballot for another voter?
Only a designated member of a voter’s immediate family (or a legal guardian) can request a Vote-By-Mail ballot for that voter and they may do so only if directly instructed by the voter. Immediate family means the voter's spouse or the parent, child, grandparent or sibling of either the voter or of the voter's spouse.

Requests can be made via this website, in person, by mail, by telephone or by fax.

Requests must include:
• the voter’s name
• the voter’s current legal residence address (no post office boxes)
• the voter’s date of birth
• the voter's signature (mail and fax requests only)
• the requestor’s name
• the requestor’s address
• the requestor’s driver’s license number (if available)
• the requestor’s relationship to the voter

If the voter will not be at his or her residence address to receive the ballot, a mailing address for the ballot must be provided. Vote-By-Mail ballots cannot be forwarded by the US Postal Service.

Website Requests
Requests for a Vote-By-Mail ballot should use our Vote-By-Mail Ballot Request Form.

In Person Requests
Requests can be made at the Supervisor of Elections office at 515 N Main Street, Gainesville, FL 32601. Please be sure to bring along picture and signature ID for yourself. Hours are 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Normal holidays apply.

Mail Requests
Requests should be sent to:
Supervisor of Elections
515 N Main Street
Gainesville, FL 32601

Phone requests
Requests can be made by calling (352) 374-5252. Our hours are 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Again, normal holidays apply.

Fax Requests
Requests should be faxed to (352) 374-5264.


How do I pick up a Vote-By-Mail ballot?
A voter may pick up a ballot for him/her self anytime after ballots are printed and available. Simply come to the Supervisor of Elections office and bring picture and signature ID. You may immediately vote the ballot or you may return it later by mail, in person, or have someone else return it for you. Vote-By-Mail ballots MUST be received in the Supervisor of Elections office not later than 7:00 pm on the day of the election.

Starting five (5) days prior to the election (that is, Thursday before the election), you may authorize another person to pick-up your Vote-By-Mail ballot from the Supervisor of Elections office. Your designee must have a note signed by you, a picture ID (of the designee), and a completed affidavit. Instructions concerning the note and a copy of the required affidavit are available to download. The designee may not pick up more than two (2) Vote-By-Mail ballots per election, not including the designee's own ballot and ballots for members of his/her immediate family.

Note that, effective 1 January 2014,  pick-up of Vote-By-Mail ballots on Election Day is limited to emergencies. This is regardless of whether the voter or a designee is to pick-up the ballot.


How do I vote my Vote-By-Mail ballot?
Instructions for voting your Vote-By-Mail ballot will be included with the ballot. Be certain to mark your own ballot in secret unless you’re unable to do so because of blindness, disability, or inability to read or write. Be certain to completely fill in the oval to the left of the candidate(s) or issue(s) of your choice. Be certain to sign the Voter’s Certificate on the back of the return envelope. Be certain your ballot is received at the Supervisor of Elections office by 7:00 pm on Election Day.

If you make a mistake, do not cross out or erase or use Wite-out™. Contact the election office and request a new ballot.

If for some reason you have obtained a Vote-By-Mail ballot but wish to vote at an early voting location or at your precinct on Election Day, take the Vote-By-Mail ballot with you to the polls. If you don’t take the ballot with you to be cancelled, you may be instructed to vote a provisional ballot.


How do I return my Vote-By-Mail ballot?
Vote-By-Mail ballots are usually mailed between 28 and 35 days before Election Day or, if later, within two business days after you make your request. Please allow for sufficient time for the Post Office to deliver your ballot. However, if you haven't received your Vote-By-Mail ballot within a reasonable period, you should certainly check with our office. Please either call us at (352) 374-5252 or email us. Don't wait until the final few days before Election Day to contact us or there may not be enough time for us to mail you a replacement ballot and get it back from you!

Before you return your voted Vote-By-Mail ballot, be certain to seal it in the return envelope provided and sign the voter's certificate on the back of the envelope. Most voters choose to return their voted ballot by mail. If so, be certain that you have attached adequate postage and that there is adequate time for the Post Office to deliver it to us by Election Day. Voters may also choose to return their voted ballot sealed in the signed return envelope to our office in person, or you may have someone else deliver it to us for you. Vote-By-Mail ballots may not be dropped off at the voter’s precinct on Election Day. All Vote-By-Mail ballots must be received in our office at 515 N Main Street, Gainesville, FL 32601 by 7:00pm on Election Day.


How can I track my ballot after I've returned it?
Voters can always contact our office to inquire about the status of their Vote-By-Mail ballot. However, this information is also available online 24/7. The menu bar at the top of every page on this website has a link "My Registration Status". Click on that link and answer a few questions. You will then have access to such information as when your ballot was mailed by us, the address it was mailed to, if and when it was received back in our office. You will also be able to find out if your ballot envelope was returned to us without your signature. If that happens, please follow this link to information on how you may be able to correct this error.

If your ballot was rejected by the Canvassing Board, after the election a letter will be sent to you informing you and explaining the reason.By far, the most common reasons for not accepting ballots are: ballot received late, Voter Certificate on the back of the return envelope is not signed, and signature on the return envelope does not match the signature on file at the Election office. Please be careful to avoid these mistakes!!  Even with these possible errors, a typical countywide election in Alachua County will see less than 1 in 150 returned voted Vote-By-Mail ballots rejected.


Special information for absent uniformed services voters
An "absent uniformed services voter" is a member of a uniformed service on active duty or a member of the merchant marine in service or the spouse or a dependent of such member who, by reason of the active duty or service, is absent from the place of residence where they would otherwise be qualified to vote. Refer to Florida Statute 97.021(2).

If your absence has taken you overseas, please skip this section. Instead, refer to the section below on "Special information for overseas voters".

If you qualify as an absent uniformed services voter, then your ballot will be mailed not later than 45 days prior to Election Day, your ballot is eligible to be forwarded by the US Post Office, and you may request to have your ballot sent to you via e-mail or fax.

Note:  Absent uniformed services voters may not use e-mail or fax to return their voted ballot. Different rules apply if you are overseas.

Absent uniformed services voters should request Vote-By-Mail ballots by using our Vote by Mail Ballot Request form. You may also telephone our office at (352) 374-5252, fax your request to (352) 374-5264, make your request in person, or mail your request.

Absent uniformed services voters who wish to update their signature, change their party affiliation, or make any other change to their voter registration record, may use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) form. The original of this form should be mailed or delivered to our office. We can accept forms sent via e-mail or fax only if they are to update your mailing address or update your Alachua County residence address.


Special information for overseas voters
An overseas voter is:

  • an absent uniformed services voter who, by reason of active duty or service, is absent from the United States on the date of the election,
  • a person who resides outside the United States and is qualified to vote in the last place in which the person was domiciled before leaving the United States, or
  • a person who resides outside the United States and, but for such residence, would be qualified to vote in the last place in which the person was domiciled before leaving the United States.
Refer to Florida Statute 97.021(23).

If and only if you qualify as an overseas voter, then your Vote-By-Mail ballot will be mailed not later than 45 days prior to Election Day, your ballot is eligible to be forwarded, and you may have your ballot sent to you via e-mail or fax. Only overseas voters may return their ballot via fax. Under current Florida law, no voter may return their ballot via e-mail.

Overseas voters only should request Vote-By-Mail ballots by using our Vote-By-Mail Ballot Request Form. You may also telephone our office at (352) 374-5252, fax your request to (352) 374-5264, make your request in person, or mail your request.

Overseas voters who wish to update their signature, change their party affiliation, or make any other change to their voter registration record, may use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) form.

Additional information for military and overseas voters is available from the Federal Voting Assistance Program, toll-free (800) 438-8683, or e-mail vote@fvap.ncr.gov


How do I download a Vote-By-Mail request form?
PDF versions of our Vote-By-Mail request form are available for download below.

English Vote-By-Mail Request Form
Spanish Vote-By-Mail Request Form
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Kim A. Barton
Alachua County Supervisor of Elections

Under Florida law, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.
History.—s. 1, ch. 2006-232.