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Frequently Asked Questions: Voting by Mail

Has the length of time my mail ballot request is good for changed?

Yes. Mail ballot requests are now good for only one general election cycle. You can check your mail ballot status online or make a new mail ballot request on our website.

How do I request a mail ballot?

All mail ballot requests must include the following information:

Residential Address
Mailing Address, if different
Date of Birth
Florida DL/ID number or last 4 digits of Social Security number (this must match what the Supervisor of Elections office has on file for you)
Daytime Phone Number

Is there a deadline to request a mail ballot?

Yes. A ballot must be requested no later than 5 p.m. on the 12th day prior to an election in order for the Elections office to mail it to you. 

How far in advance can I request mail ballots?

Mail ballot requests can be made for all elections through the calendar year for the next regularly scheduled general election. After that, you will need to renew your request. Remember to notify the elections office if you have any updates to your registration information to ensure you receive your ballot as requested. 

Do I need a medical reason to vote by mail?

No, any registered voter may request a mail ballot.

Will my mail ballot be forwarded if I have moved since requesting a ballot?

No. BALLOTS ARE NOT FORWARDABLE. Be sure to provide your current mailing address to ensure delivery. 

Do I have to sign the ballot envelope? Is my signature going to be checked?

Yes and yes. State law requires that a mail ballot certificate envelope be signed by the voter in order to be counted, unless other provisions are made pursuant to F.S. 101.68(4). Your signature on the envelope will be compared with the signature in your voter file to verify your identity. If you need to update your signature on file, please complete and submit a Voter Registration Application to our office, checking the "Record Update/Change" box in the top line. 

Can I request a mail ballot for a family member?

Yes. You may request a mail ballot for a family member. Call the Supervisor of Elections at (727) 464-VOTE (8683) or submit a Statewide Vote-by-Mail Request Form (DS-DE 160). 

Can someone else pick up my mail ballot for me?

Yes. You may designate in writing an immediate family member or a legal guardian to pick up a mail ballot for you. Your designee will need a photo ID and a signed note from you, as well as a completed affidavit in order to pick up the ballot. The person making the request must disclose: 

1. The name of the voter for whom the ballot is requested.
2. The voter’s address.
3. The voter’s date of birth.
4. The voter’s Florida driver license number, the voter’s Florida identification card number, or the last four digits of the voter’s social security number, whichever may be verified in the supervisor’s records.
5. The requestor's name.
6. The requestor's address.
7. The requestor's driver license number, the requester’s identification card number, or the last four digits of the requester’s social security number, if available.
8. The requestor's relationship to the voter.
9. The requestor's signature (written requests only).

(Affidavit for Vote-by-Mail Ballot Delivery / Spanish - DS-DE 162 Interim Proposed Form)

How many mail ballots may I return?

Per Florida Statute 104.0616 (2), any person who distributes, orders, requests, collects, delivers, or otherwise physically possesses more than two vote-by-mail ballots per election in addition to his or her own ballot or a ballot belonging to an immediate family member, except as provided in ss. 101.6105-101.694, …, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 or s. 775.084.

How do I return my mail ballot?

You can return your ballot by mailing it back to the Supervisor of Elections' office using the postage-paid return envelope. Voters are advised to allow at least ONE WEEK for their ballot to be returned by mail to the Supervisor of Elections' office. You may also take your ballot to one of our three offices or a secure ballot return location (when available; see the ballot instructions provided in your kit for details).

Mail ballots must be received by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day at one of the three Supervisor of Elections offices.

 I have a mail ballot but would like to vote on Election Day. Can I still vote?

Yes. If you have received a mail ballot, but you would prefer to vote at your precinct, take your mail ballot (the entire kit) with you to your polling place. Poll workers will mark the mail ballot “cancelled,” and you’ll be allowed to vote a regular ballot at the polling place. If you do not take your ballot to the polls, a poll worker will confirm that your ballot was NOT received before issuing a regular ballot to you. If elections staff cannot confirm that your ballot has NOT been received, you may vote a provisional ballot, and the canvassing board will later determine the validity of the ballot.

How are mail ballots counted/processed? When does the process begin?

The canvassing board begins tabulating ballots, pursuant to Florida Law, after the first Logic and Accuracy test. The first Logic and Accuracy test is generally 21 days prior to the election. Ballots continue being processed as they arrive through Election Day. The first results released on Election Day are partial mail ballot results. The remainder of the mail ballots are processed during election night. 

Mail ballots cannot be received at the precinct polling place to be counted - only to be cancelled. 

What is the difference between an absentee ballot and a mail ballot?

Nothing. These are two terms to describe the same type of ballot. The mail ballot is a more accurate term because voters no longer need an excuse to vote by mail. Legislation passed in 2016 replaced the term “absentee ballot” with the term “vote-by-mail ballot” throughout the Florida Statutes. (Effective July 1, 2016). Any registered eligible voter may vote by mail. All eligible mail ballots are counted in an election, the same as precinct ballots and early voting ballots.

What is a mail ballot election?

Florida statutes provide for an election to be conducted by all-mail ballot under certain circumstances. View Frequently Asked Questions about Mail Ballot Elections.


County Seal in Footer

Julie Marcus ● Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections

Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. | Email: [email protected] | Mail Ballots: [email protected] | Public Records Request: Submit Form

P:(727) 464-VOTE (8683) ● F:(727) 464-6239

Election Service Center

13001 Starkey Rd.
Largo, FL 33773
(Starkey Lakes Corporate Center)

Pinellas County Courthouse

315 Court Street, Room 117
Clearwater, FL 33756

County Building

501 First Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(Fifth Street North Entrance)

F.S. 668.6076 Under Florida law, email addresses are public records. If you do not want your email 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. To submit a public records request, use this form.