Closer look at Vote-by-Mail system

Posted at 6:13 AM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 06:17:04-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla -- The Vote-by-Mail process has become a hot topic, as many states look to increase use of the option this November to reduce the spread of coronavirus. However, President Trump has weighed in, suggesting this is illegal and could lead to voter fraud.

Fox 4 took a close look at how Florida's mail in system works. The state has a multi-step system in place when it comes to verifying Vote-by-Mail ballots.

Vote-by-Mail ballots are counted first in an election. In Florida, Vote-by-Mail ballots are counted if properly completed and if they pass a signature verification process. This means making sure the return envelope is signed and matches the signature in the Florida voter registration system.

All Supervisor of Elections and County Canvassing Board members have received formal signature matching training.Florida law requires election supervisors to notify any voter whose signature is missing or does not match the database.

Verified Vote-by-Mail ballots are then stored in a vault until they're counted. They are also reconciled to keep track of the number that are requested, mailed, received and counted.

You can request a Vote-by-Mail ballot through your county Supervisor of Elections.

Only the voter, their legal guardian or an immediate family member can request one. The deadline to request one be mailed is no later than 5 p.m. on the 10th day before the election. It must be received by the Supervisor of Elections no later than 7 p.m. on election day to be counted.

More information on how the process works in Florida can be found here.