OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – The Osceola County Canvassing Board met on Tuesday as workers have been processing mail-in ballots for the general election.
Supervisor of Elections Mary Jane Arrington said roughly 100,000 mail-in ballots were requested by voters and so far, more than 60,000 have been received by her office.
“This is probably our biggest week right now to get ballots back,” Arrington said. “They will be opened. The ballots will be removed in their secrecy sleeve and separated from their secrecy sleeve and then processed through the tabulator.”
Starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, workers began going through nearly 15,000 mail-in ballots. The results won’t be tabulated yet, but the process allows for the ballots to be the first ones counted after polls close on Nov. 3.
“We don’t hit that button until 7 p.m. on election night,” Arrington said. “The first results you see in Osceola County are the mail ballots we processed through Election Day.”
The public is permitted and encouraged to view the ballot canvassing, which is expected to take place through the remainder of the week.
“People will come and go and that’s what we’d like for them to do. Drop in, if you’ve got a few minutes, watch the process and see how we do it,” Arrington said.
In Florida, vote-by-mail voters are also able to keep track of their ballot every step of the way to ensure their vote is counted.
“You know when it’s received and you know when it’s processed. That means going through what we’re going through today and then on Election Day it will say ‘voted,’” Arrington said.
Mail-in ballots must be received by the supervisor of elections offices by 7 p.m. Nov. 3 to be counted in the general election. Voters are encouraged to make sure they’re turned in as soon as possible.