Frequently Asked Questions: Ballots

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. 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.

How do I request a mail/absentee ballot?

In Florida, voters don’t need to provide a reason to request a mail ballot. Voting by mail provides voters with the flexibility and convenience to vote from their homes. Completed ballots may be mailed to the Supervisor of Elections or dropped off at the elections office. Voters who are out of the area during an election — including college students living away from home and military personnel — will find voting by mail especially convenient.

To request a mail ballot, call the Wakulla County Supervisor of Elections Office at (850) 926-7575 or fill out the Absentee Ballot Request Do I need a medical reason to vote by mail?

No, any registered voter may request a mail ballot. 

Will my mail/absentee 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.

How far in advance can I request mail/absentee ballots?

Mail ballot requests can be made for all elections through two Election Cycle. 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.

Is there a deadline to request a mail/absentee ballot?

Yes. A ballot must be requested no later than 5 p.m. the Wednesday prior to an election in order for the Elections office to mail it to you. After that, you may still pick up a mail ballot through Election Day.

How are mail/absentee ballots counted/processed?

Ballots are collected as they arrive at the elections office in person or by mail. Florida statutes allow mail ballots to be opened and processed beginning 15 days before the election (effective May 19, 2011). Mail ballots must be received by 7 p.m. Election Day in the Elections Office, after which mail ballot results are added to election totals. Mail ballots cannot be received at the precinct polling place to be counted - only to be cancelled.

I have a mail/absentee 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 with you to your polling place. Poll workers will mark the mail ballot “Cancelled,” and you’ll be allowed to vote at the polling place. If you do not take your ballot to the polls, a poll worker will call the Elections Office to confirm that your ballot was NOT received before issuing a ballot to you.

Can I request a mail/absentee ballot for a family member?

Yes. You may request a mail ballot for a family member. Call the Supervisor of Elections at (850) 926-7575 or fill out the Absentee Ballot Request form. Provide your name, address and date of birth. Requests mailed in must be signed.

Can someone else pick up my mail/absentee ballot for me?

Yes. You may designate in writing a person to pick up a mail ballot for you anytime five days before an election. Your designee will need a photo ID and signed note from you in order to pick up the ballot.