DeLand, FL - Mail-in ballots are a safe way to cast your vote. That's according to Volusia County supervisor of Elections Lisa Lewis. She says that she set up with the main mail distribution center in Orlando that she would call and if there were ballots that could not be delivered in time, she would go to Orlando and pick them up on election day. "I called four different times. Each time was told there were not any and Wednesday morning comes and we had delivered 1,281 ballots that were date-stamped in Orlando on August 17, which was Monday." Lewis also said if she knew there were only two ballots that weren't going to make it in time, she would go and pick them up because every vote matters.
Lewis says she's had a conference call with the regional directors of the southeast and Sun Coast USPS offices and the state elections director. She was told that the missing ballots were not separated out for pickup. They were mixed in with the regular mail and sent from Orlando to mid-Florida for delivery on Wednesday. "They have promised that they are putting procedures in place. There was a miscommunication about those ballots being separated out to be delivered or picked up."
From now until the general election, Lewis says she's going to make sure that there are procedures in place. She says until this year, there's not been any problem with mail-in ballots getting back in time. There were 71,301 mail-in ballots received for the primary election. Of those, about 68,000 were delivered by USPS with the rest being handed in during early voting and at the Elections Office.
Lewis says mail-ballots are sent out 40 days in advance of the election. She says that you should return your ballot by mail at least seven days in advance but the sooner, the better. At this time, there are more than 141,000 vote-by-mail requests on file.
The mail-in ballots for the general election will start going out in the mail on September 24. There are several ways to request a mail-in ballot. You can call the elections office at 386-736-5930 or visit the website, volusiaelections.org You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or you can fax your request o the Elections Office at 386-822-5715.