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Lee County encouraging vote by mail during COVID-19 pandemic

Fox 4 is addressing concerns about keeping your vote secure.
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Lee County encouraging vote by mail during COVID-19 pandemic
Posted at 7:09 AM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 07:53:29-04

Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Lee County Supervisor of Elections is encouraging you even more to vote by mail.

"This time is more important because of the pandemic, and try to reduce the number of people at the polls,” Tommy Doyle said. "Stay home, stay safe, vote by mail.”

Fox 4 Morning News Anchor Lisa Greenberg asked on Facebook what you want to know about mail-in voting, and many questions had to do with security.

Lisa: “What do you tell people so they know that their vote will be safe and secure?”
Doyle: “Not only do we have strict protocols, the post office has strict protocols when it comes to vote by mail. We just don't give anybody a ballot. Ballots can't be copied. Every envelope is checked to verify the signature of the voter. You can't get a ballot without being a registered voter in Lee County."

Doyle said volunteers first check the signatures to make sure they're valid.

Lisa: "Do the volunteers go through some kind of vetting process?”
Doyle: "They all have background checks. We bring in temporary staff to help with that process, and then any rejection has gone through another layer -- a senior staff member or a supervisor, and then it goes through the canvassing board, which will either agree with the rejection or not.”

If a ballot is rejected, Doyle said as long as you provided your email or phone number on the ballot envelope, you'll be contacted right away.

"If we can get a hold of the voter, and they can cure that process -- they have two days after the election to cure any discrepancy in their signature -- your ballot will count," he said.

If you're concerned about your signature matching -- maybe it's changed over time -- Doyle said you can update your signature by requesting a form online, but also said not to worry too much if you've been to the polls recently.

"When we check signatures, if you've ever been to the polls and signed a poll book, that signatures on file. Every signature you ever interacted with our office is on file, and we check all the signatures we have on your file," Doyle said.

He said once a ballot is approved, it's counted by machine.

Lisa: "How much of an increase are you expecting in vote by mail?”
Doyle: “Right now, we're receiving 500 requests a day. So if that continues through the last day, we'll have close to 200,000 requests, which would be really good. And for a primary, that's probably 70,000 requests more than we had in 2018."