In a first for Volusia County, an entirely mail-in ballot in the half-cent sales-tax referendum is set to hit all 399,703 registered voters in May.
Here is what you need to know:
- The deadline to register to vote in this referendum is Monday, April 22. The deadline is 5 p.m. for in-person registration, or 11:59 p.m. for online registration at the state website. If sent by mail, the registration application must be postmarked April 22.
- Ballots will be mailed by the Elections Office Wednesday, May 1. Voters should receive the ballots no later than Saturday, May 4.
- Anyone who is a registered voter will receive a ballot in the mail: There is no absentee, early voting, or precinct voting in this election.
- The ballots will include a postage-paid envelope and secrecy sleeve. The secrecy sleeve is not required to be used or returned.
- Voters must sign their ballots with a signature that matches the signature the Elections Office has on file.
- Election staff will compare each signature to the signature on file, as the ballots are received.
- In the event of a mismatched or missing signature, the office will mail an affidavit to the voter, which the voter must return before the 7 p.m. May 21 deadline. If the office has a phone number or email address on file, the office will also attempt to notify the voter through those means.
- To update your signature, send a registration application to the Elections Office. This can be done online at www.volusiaelections.org, or in person at a public library or the Elections Office. The deadline to update your voter signature is May 15.
- Power of attorney is not accepted in the place of a voter’s mark or signature. In the case of an elderly voter who cannot write, he or she must update the signature or mark on file; a variety of “marks” are allowed. For instance, if a voter updates his or her signature to be an X, an X written on the mail-in ballot envelope will be accepted.
- Voters can choose to drop off their ballots at their city/town halls, where a secure ballot box (the same ones used for early voting) will be. Elections officials will retrieve the ballots each day.
- A person other than the voter can drop off the ballot (a friend, co-worker, etc.), as long as that person is not being paid to do so.
- On Monday, May 15, election officials will test the tabulating machines that will be used to count the May 21 referendum vote. Immediately after a successful test is completed, they will begin counting the votes.
- Any ballots received after 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, will be shredded, unopened.
USEFUL ONLINE ELECTION RESOURCES:
The official website of the Volusia County Department of Elections
Florida’s online voter-registration website, run by the Florida Department of State