Submitted by Vicki Cannon
Nassau County Supervisor of Elections
September 26, 2018 11:31 a.m.
As I considered the questions my colleagues and I received last week regarding mailers received by voters, the ACLU’s report, and other news and reports pertaining to voting, I wanted to share factual information with you:
Last week, the ACLU released a report contrasting the rates of rejected vote-by-mail ballots in the 2012 and 2016 general elections by county. One Florida Supervisor, who had become aware of the pending report, contacted the author and the ACLU prior to its release to bring inaccuracies related to the report to their attention so the report could be corrected before it was released to the public. After the report had been released, the Supervisor noted in his press release, “Notwithstanding these representations, the report the ACLU produced today failed to modify or even annotate the incorrect data contained in the rejection total….” Unfortunately, the report, with incorrect assumptions, was still released to the public.
Also last week, we received calls from citizens who were concerned about a mailing that read, “Records indicate you may not be registered to vote. This means your voice won’t count in upcoming elections….” The envelope contained a flyer, a voter registration application and a return envelope addressed to the Florida Division of Elections. I received the same mailing and have been a registered voter in Nassau County since 1976. Unfortunately, we have no control over the mailings or the data advocacy groups use to determine who receives their mailings.
As John Adams, one of the Founding Fathers of our country, said, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” When you are unsure about information you receive in the mail, what you see on the news and read in newspapers, and what people say about the election process, please contact me and/or my colleagues at the Nassau County Supervisor of Elections office at 904.491.7500 or toll free 1.866.260.4301 for factual information to your questions or concerns.
Another proactive measure prior to the deadline for voter registration and prior to going to the early voting site or your polling place on Election Day is to check your voter record at www.VoteNassau.com. You can: confirm you are registered to vote and that your party affiliation and address is current; you can see if you have been mailed a vote by mail ballot and, if so, when it was mailed and when it was received in our office; you can view your specific sample ballot for an upcoming election; you can verify the address of your polling place before going to the polls on Election Day, and much more! If you do not have internet access, please contact us and we will check your voter record for you.
A few dates to remember and ways voters can be ready for the upcoming election:
Vote by Mail ballots for military and overseas voters were delivered on September 20th. They, by law, must be mailed no later than 45 days prior to the election.
All other Vote by Mail ballots will be mailed on October 2nd, the earliest date our office can mail the ballots, by law. However, you can pick up your vote by mail ballot at our office (96135 Nassau Place, Suite 3, Yulee, FL) if you need your ballot earlier. Remember, your ballot must be received in our office by 7 p.m. on November 6, 2018 to be counted. The United States Postal Service recommends that your ballot be mailed at least one week prior to November 6thto be received in our office by the deadline. You can also deliver your ballot to our Yulee office or place it in our Vote by Mail Ballot drop box in the Historic Courthouse at 416 Centre Street, Fernandina Beach, FL. To ensure your ballot has been received by our office by the deadline, visit www.VoteNassau.comand click the Track My Mail Ballot button.
Sample ballots will be mailed to every registered voter in Nassau County on October 12th. The ballot for the General Election is a two-page ballot. To avoid delays, please review your sample ballot, mark it with your choices, and take it to the polls to use as a reference when you vote. For information on candidates and proposed Constitutional Amendments/Revisions, visit www.VoteNassau.comand click the Research My Ballotbutton.
The election process is local and transparent, and answers to your questions are a phone call or a short drive away to ensure you have factual information by which to make decisions or to be confident in the process. It is our pleasure and honor to serve you!