Your voting Fast Pass - Vote-by-Mail
August 2019 Newsletter
Voting by mail is an option for all registered voters and offers the convenience of voting from home in your own time. It's the perfect option for voters with unpredictable schedules, voters who commute outside the county for work, travelers, or those who have difficulty getting to the polls. Vote-by-mail ballots are available upon request through our website or by calling our office at 800-851-8754. Unlike years ago, voting-by-mail does not require a reason or your absence from the county on election day.
Vote-by-mail ballots are sent to voters with requests on file 40 days prior to an election and are due back to the office by 7:00 p.m. election day. The deadline to order a vote-by-mail ballot by telephone, on-line, or written request is ten days prior to an election. This is to allow enough time for us to mail the ballot and for you to return it to our office by the 7:00 p.m. election day deadline. If you miss this deadline, you can still pick up a ballot in one of our offices and mail it back as long as we receive it by the deadline. Vote-by-mail ballots may also be hand delivered to one of our three office locations, or an early voting site during the designated early voting period but may not be turned in at the polling place on election day. Vote-by-mail ballots are not intended to be used as sample ballots, and if voted, will not be allowed in the polling place or early voting location. Sample ballots are available on-line 25-30 days prior to any election at www.pascovotes.com, and for county-wide elections are mailed to every voter to their address of record.
The myth that vote-by-mail ballots are counted only in close races surfaces every election cycle, and I can assure you this is not the case. In fact, vote-by-mail ballots are the first ballots to be counted! Although the results of the vote-by-mail ballots are not released until 7:00 p.m. election night, by law the canvassing of vote-by-mail ballots can begin 22 days before an election. This time frame was recently extended through the signing of HB/SB 7066 to allow more time for processing vote-by-mail ballots which has shown significant increase statewide in the past several election cycles.
Additional things to know about voting by mail is that every signature on every returned ballot is compared to the signature on the voter's record. It's important that a voter has a current signature on file, and signatures are easily updated by submitting a voter registration application. If the ballot signature is not a match to the signature on file, we will contact the voter who will have the option of "curing" their ballot signature through an affidavit. To insure we are able to contact voters in this scenario, the new law, HB/SB 7066, allows voters the option to supply additional contact information on the vote-by-mail certificate, e.g. an e-mail address and home and cell phone numbers.
Voters can track the receipt and delivery of their vote-by-mail using a link on www.pascovotes.com which has the option of receiving e-mail and text messages about the ballot's progress through the mailing, transit and delivery phases. In this way you can be sure your voted ballot is on its way and then finally received by the elections' office. For more information or questions about voting by mail visit our website or call 800-851-8754. We'll be happy to order a vote-by-mail ballot for you!