ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – With talks of the United States Postal Service receiving funding in reference to mail-in voting delivery, two Central Florida election officials told News 6 they haven’t noticed any delayed in delivery.
Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles said his office received a record amount of mail-in ballots than any other primary election in the county’s history.
"We are very satisfied with the service we are getting from the postal service. We've been getting our mail each morning efficiently," said Cowles.
Lake County Supervisor of Elections Alan Hays said that he feels confident the system will continue to work for both next week's election and in November.
“I know there’s a lot of controversy going on right now, but again, bring me the facts. That’s what I deal with and the postal employees are bringing me the mail every day,” said Hays.
The USPS released a statement to News 6 in part saying “The Postal Service’s financial condition is not going to impact our ability to process and deliver election and political mail. The Postal Service has ample capacity to adjust our nationwide processing and delivery network to meet projected Election and Political Mail volume, including any additional volume that may result as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Both Cowles and Hays want to remind the public that in Florida, mail-in ballots must be received to the election's office by 7 p.m. on election day, not be postmarked that day. In order to ensure your primary vote is counted, they recommend you return the ballot to a drop-off location.
Cowles said that 2019 legislation requires Florida counties to offer to drop off boxes at early voting locations as well as the election office.
To find the location for you to turn in your mail-in ballot, CLICK HERE.
The Florida Department of State confirmed it received a letter from the USPS notifying the state about potential delays to vote-by-mail ballots.
In response State Sec. Laurel Lee sent this statement:
See the below statement from Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee:
The Florida Department of State appreciates our relationship with the United States Postal Service and we have an ongoing partnership with regional and state representatives. Secretary Lee has made it a top priority to engage with local elections officials and the USPS regarding the timely delivery and return of vote-by-mail ballots for the August and November elections.
In Florida, all voters have three options for voting – vote-by-mail, voting at any early voting site in their county, and voting on election day. We encourage voters to choose whichever option best accommodates their needs, and we understand that an increased amount of voters are opting for vote-by-mail ballots this election cycle. We are monitoring very closely the delivery of vote-by-mail ballots in Florida. The majority of Supervisors of Elections are not reporting any issues.
There are a number of ways a vote-by-mail ballot can be returned. A voter can return their vote-by-mail ballot via USPS. Additionally, voters can return their vote-by-mail to secure drop boxes at their main and branch office(s), and during the early voting period, at each of their designated early voting sites. Some counties are also offering additional secure drop box locations during the early voting period.
Voters who are concerned that their ballot will not be delivered timely can take advantage of these optional drop box locations. A voter should contact their Supervisor of Elections to verify to where they can return their vote-by-mail ballot in their county. Contact information for Supervisors of Elections can be found here. A voter must ensure their vote-by-mail ballot is received by their Supervisor of Elections no later than 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.