Vote-by-mail ballots to start going into mail Sept. 23 for out-of-state and out-of-country military personnel and civilians

Domestic absentee ballot mailing to begin Oct. 4

Image from the Supervisor of Elections Office website.
Image from the Supervisor of Elections Office website.

On Sept.23, the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office will begin sending vote-by-mail (absentee) ballots for the Nov. 8 General Election to stateside military voters and overseas military and civilian voters, Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent has announced.

Domestic vote-by-mail ballots will be sent out beginning Oct. 4, a news release says.

To request a vote-by-mail ballot, a voter may email, call 861-8618 or submit an online request from the Supervisor of Elections website at, the release points out.

A request for a ballot to be mailed must be received by the Supervisor of Elections Office no later than 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, the release continues. To be counted, voted ballots must be returned to the office no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day. They “may not be left at a precinct on Election Day,” the release emphasizes. “Dent reminds voters to return marked ballots early to avoid postal delays,” the release adds. The U.S. Postal Service has recommended voters return ballots at least one week before the deadline, the release notes.

Except for uniformed service and civilian voters living overseas, a voter who requests a ballot be mailed to an address other than the address on file in the Florida Voter Registration System “must submit a signed written request to the elections office,” the release points out.

Dent also encourages voters to update their signatures with the Supervisor of Elections Office as necessary. “A signature on the vote-by-mail ballot certificate must match the voter’s signature on file in the elections office to be counted,” the release explains. A voter may update his or her signature by submitting a Florida Voter Registration Application to the Supervisor of Elections Office. Signature updates must be received prior to the start of the absentee ballot canvass, which will be held Wednesday, Oct. 26, the release adds.