5 p.m. on Oct. 29 the deadline to request vote-by-mail ballots
This week, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner and his staff began mailing vote-by-mail (absentee) ballots to domestic voters for the Nov. 8 General Election, his staff announced this week.
More than 118,000 ballots were going out to registered Sarasota County voters who have vote-by-mail requests on file with the elections office, Turner noted in an Oct. 4 news release. “Following that initial mailing, ballots will be mailed daily as requests are processed,” the release adds.
On Friday, Sept. 23, Turner’s staff began sending vote-by-mail ballots to military and overseas voters, Turner reported then.
More than 2,000 ballots were expected to be mailed to active-duty military personnel and their spouses and dependents who are absent from Sarasota County, and to registered Sarasota County voters living overseas, Turner noted in a news release on Sept. 23. “The mailing is required by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA), which ensures all eligible citizens can register to vote and vote by mail (absentee),” that news release explained. Following that initial mailing, ballots would be processed and mailed to UOCAVA voters as requests were received, the release noted.
At that time, Turner pointed out, an additional 120,000 vote-by-mail ballots were scheduled to be mailed, to domestic voters, beginning Sept. 29. However, that news came prior to the onset of emergency preparations for Hurricane Ian.
“Like so many in the community, our thoughts are with those hit hardest by Hurricane Ian,” said Turner in the Oct. 4 news release. “We are grateful for the work of first responders in our community, as well as utility and maintenance workers restoring power and services as we prepare for the Nov. 8 General Election.”
Voters who have been displaced by Hurricane Ian and are concerned that they may not receive their vote-by-mail ballot should call the elections office at 941-861-8618 for more information about voting options, the release emphasized.
“I realize that voting may not be the top priority for those who are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Ian,” Turner continued in the Oct. 4 release. “Still, I want to make sure that every Sarasota County voter has the opportunity to participate in the Nov. 8 General Election. If a voter is unable to receive his or her vote-by-mail ballot due to interruptions caused by Ian, he or she may consider voting early in person or on Election Day,” Turner added.
In-person early voting will begin on Monday, Oct. 24, and continue through Sunday, Nov. 6, the release says. Hours will be from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily at nine locations throughout the county. Location details may be found on the Early Voting page of SarasotaVotes.gov.
A voter may request a vote-by-mail ballot in one of the following ways, the release notes:
- Online at SarasotaVotes.gov/VoteByMail
- In person at the elections office.
- By telephone to 941-861-8618.
Voters have until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, to request that a ballot be mailed to them for the Nov. 8 General Election, the release points out.
Those choosing to vote on Election Day — Tuesday, Nov. 8 — may do so from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at their assigned polling location, the release says. A voter’s polling location is listed on his or her Voter Information Card; it can be verified by using the Find My Precinct quick link at SarasotaVotes.gov.
For more information or assistance, voters may call the elections office at 941-861-8618 or visit SarasotaVotes.gov.
“Turner urges that voters who choose to vote by mail request and return their ballots promptly,” the release stresses. “He also notes that the Voter’s Certificate on the return vote-by-mail envelope must be signed by the voter and that the voter’s signature should match the signature on record in the elections office,” the release emphasizes. “The signature on file at the time the ballot is received will be used to verify the signature on the Voter’s Certificate.”
Voters who need to update their signatures for the upcoming election may do so by completing a Florida Voter Registration Application and mailing or delivering it in person to any one of the three elections offices — in Sarasota, Venice or North Port, the release says.