Like Voting by Mail? You Probably Have Some Work to Do

By Mike Lednovich

Nassau County Supervisor of Elections Janet Adkins has been notified that 12,225 vote-by-mail applications had been voided by the State Bureau of Elections under a new law signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, which went into effect earlier this year.

Democratic State Committee Woman Carla Voisard said Adkins’ office was informed of the action at last week’s Nassau County Supervisor of Elections Citizens Advisory Committee meeting, on which she is a member.

The committee attorney notified Adkins and the committee that the state voided the registrations under specific language of the new bill.

“Essentially the state said any vote-by-mail registrations received on or before Nov. 8, 2022 were part of that election cycle and were not valid going forward,” Voisard said.

“Registrations received Nov. 9, 2022 and thereafter are valid. But that wipes out 12,225 applications and leaves Nassau County with only 1,008 vote-by-mail requests on the books.”

Previous to the new law, vote-by-mail registrations were good for two election cycles.

“This is totally unacceptable! The state seems bent on disenfranchising voters and in this case elderly voters,” Voisard said.

Voisard said Adkins was alarmed by the state’s actions and was planning on taking proactive steps to enroll those voters impacted by the state’s actions.

Voisard said Adkins told the committee that she plans to send anyone affected a letter on Friday.

She will also try to text and email voters where information is available. She also plans to take out banner ads in the newspaper.

With the Labor Day holiday weekend, Adkins’ office was closed, and she was unavailable for immediate comment.

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Mark Tomes
Active Member
Mark Tomes(@mtomes)
7 months ago

Check your Vote by Mail status today!

srcocchi
srcocchi(@srcocchi)
7 months ago
Reply to  Mark Tomes

Please wait to check your status. The SOE is still working on the lists that were to be purged. If you check now, it’s possible you are on the list currently but will be purged. Please watch for communications from the SOE’s office. Also, you can sign up on the website to receive a vote by mail ballot if you have not already done so and your request will not be affected.

Mark Tomes
Active Member
Mark Tomes(@mtomes)
7 months ago

You can check your vote by mail status at https://www.votenassaufl.gov/check-my-voter-status

grandvin
Active Member
grandvin(@grandvin)
7 months ago

It astounds me that at the beginning of our democratic republic voting was done in person by individuals removed from voting sites with only foot, personal or animal, transportation. Why we need vote by mail, vote by internet, etc is remarkable. I can fathom individuals in the military away from home or the infirmed not being able to get to the polls and therefore needing an absentee ballot. Beyond that, with multiweek voting periods I see no reason for a general vote by mail.

Faith Ross
Active Member
Faith Ross(@faith-ross)
7 months ago
Reply to  grandvin

Following this logic, if we are going back to the beginning of our democratic republic, we shouldn’t have cars or the internet. So if you are taking care of an ailing parent in another state during an election period, you are supposed to hop on your horse or ride back to Nassau County to vote? Due to medical restrictions, some folks are not permitted to drive, etc. Personally, I like to show up to vote. However, if folks want or need to use the mail, I would certainly support any decision that makes voting easily accessible to all.

RichardCain
Noble Member
RichardCain(@richardcain)
7 months ago
Reply to  Faith Ross

There are many valid reasons where voting by mail is perhaps necessary or valid. Unfortunately in recent years it has become so widespread that there are jurisdictions where they only vote by mail. And voter fraud is undeniably easier to commit with mail-in voting. It should not be promoted as a way to vote simply because it is easy. With early voting (incl. on weekends) there are plenty of opportunities to exercise your right to vote. A request for a mail-in ballot should only be good for one election … not a standing order like direct payment of your electric bill. I see nothing in this that is preventing someone from voting by mail. Let’s keep in mind that there are many states that require the voter to give a reason why they want a mail-in ballot … Florida is not one. If you need/want a mail-in ballot in an upcoming election than simply ask for it.

ericbarteltgmail.com
Member
ericbarteltgmail.com(@ericbarteltgmail-com)
7 months ago
Reply to  grandvin

It’s also astounding that we, as a democracy, do not do all that we can to encourage every legal voter to vote, whether in person, by mail, Internet, whatever. Shouldn’t matter what your politics are, everyone who is eligible should be given every opportunity to vote and it should be easy.

srcocchi
srcocchi(@srcocchi)
7 months ago

Depending on where you live, the limitations are by design and carefully constructed for voter suppression.

Ruthellen Mulberg
Active Member
Ruthellen Mulberg(@rmulberg)
7 months ago

Good timing for this article, as I just reviewed my own vote-by-mail status. I, too, thought that even under the new and unnecessarily restrictive law, a request was good for two years (vs. indefinitely). But I just renewed mine and the confirmation indicated that it would only be valid through the “next general election”, which I think is November 2024.
BUT, the GOOD NEWS is that, assuming one is registered, requesting to vote-by-mail is quite easy at the Nassau County Board of elections website or the VOTENassau App. I trust that Ms. Atkins will promote that heavily in any public announcements.VOTENassau App.

Alan Hopkins
Noble Member
Alan Hopkins(@dawaves)
7 months ago

Here are some things we should all be able to agree on.

Individuals need to prove their eligibility to vote before receiving a ballot to ensure fair elections.

If an individual has a VALID reason why they are unable to make it to a polling site either at early voting or on election day they should be provided a ballot.

Voting by mail carries much higher risk of fraud than voting in person.

Douglas M
Noble Member
Douglas M(@douglasm)
7 months ago
Reply to  Alan Hopkins

Agree heartedly on all 3……..I always vote in person because I am the only one to touch my vote and feed it into the scanner. I know it is recorded and hasn’t been altered.

Early voting is extremely easy in Nassau County. The only time I spent more than 10 minutes on the process was the record turnout of 2020 where it took 25 minutes. I assume most folks who vote by mail take it to the post office. In the time it takes to order, fill out, and deliver to a PO, one could show up and early vote. I don’t understand why some highly mobile folks would rather mail it in……..but at least they shorten the line when I go in person.

srcocchi
srcocchi(@srcocchi)
7 months ago

Voting by mail is a safe and effective way to cast your vote. There are many reasons why a person might choose to vote by mail. Some reasons might be:

they don’t want to wait in long lines, have a sick or elderly person who can’t be left alone, have to work, have child care issues, have health issues, don’t have transportation, travel for work, travel during Election Day,

Vote by mail is a practice that was put in place by the GOP. They knew that the largest portion of their base was in the Boomer age group and their turnout would be better if it were easier to vote. Once the Democrats did the same…suddenly it’s a problem.

Vote by mail is safe and your ballot can be tracked to and from the SOE’s office. You can be certain that your ballot is received and counted. Ballots are opened and counted with many protocols in place to ensure a free and fair election. Just as in Nassau County, there are election workers and staff that are working diligently to ensure that everyone’s vote is counted.

Fear is cheap and easy. It’s much more difficult to do the work and provide facts. And these days, that bar is set extremely low.

I’d say “see ya’ at the polls” but I’ll have already cast my ballot. Happy voting.

RichardCain
Noble Member
RichardCain(@richardcain)
7 months ago
Reply to  srcocchi

And again, no one has taken away anyone’s right or ability to vote by mail ….

Gee, what should I do with this ballot another state mailed me though I left there years ago …. I’m sure there are protocols in place to be sure it is properly counted when mailed in ….

It’s not fear. It’s called common sense.

Douglas M
Noble Member
Douglas M(@douglasm)
7 months ago
Reply to  srcocchi

srcocchi……thanks for making the line shorter at the polls. I’ll buy the health issues as a valid reason for a mail ballot, but not much else. My work required travel out of state 4-5 days a week and the time period allowed for early voting (which includes the weekend) was more than adequate for my busy schedule. I haven’t had to vote on “Election Day” yet. The lines are not long and move quickly because of the dedicated people working the site. Usually there was no line to speak of and I sailed through the process in 10 minutes and slapped an “I voted” sticker on as I left. You should try it once…..the workers do a fantastic job!

I wonder, when a big stack of mail in ballots arrives at the SOE and needs to be opened, supervised and counted (I hope there is supervision), which method of voting the SOE folks wish the voters utilized? 12,000 ballots is a lot of work…..whew! I prefer to not unnecessarily burden others when I can easily accomplish the task myself.

You sound “informed” on the process…..can you run through how those mail in ballots are tabulated? Are they counted as they arrive? Tabulated later in batches? Are there at least 2 people from different party affiliation involved from the opening of the ballot, to verifying legitimacy of the voter and the vote, to scanning?

PattyM
Active Member
PattyM(@pattym)
7 months ago
Reply to  Douglas M

Douglas M — wouldn’t your questions be more appropriately addressed to the authority, the Supervisor of Elections? to get your answers from the source?

Douglas M
Noble Member
Douglas M(@douglasm)
6 months ago
Reply to  PattyM

I did. I wanted to see what Sheila had to say about her assertions. Scott Miller (Director) replied to my email on this subject……the ballots are verified for signatures when they arrive and then put in a pile to be opened at the next canvas meeting (I believe just one person does this verification)…….then at the opening there is a Canvassing Board of numerous folks including Janet (so we now have multiple people involved).

The initial solo verification at receipt is not ideal but the actual opening process is secure.

12,000 ballots is a lot of time consuming work for the Board, IMO…….but if I’m lucky, that number will increase next year because the next General Election is going to rival or exceed 2020 and I’d rather spend the usual 5 minutes than the 15 I spent at early voting that year.

PattyM
Active Member
PattyM(@pattym)
6 months ago
Reply to  Douglas M

Thanks for sharing the info.