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Fri October 26, 2012
What Your Options Are If You Don't Get Your Absentee Ballot
There are reports flying around in Broward County that a lot of people are not getting their absentee ballots.
However, there is no reason to worry.
Broward County is not having any problems getting absentee ballots out-- there is just a lot people requesting ballots (more than usual) and the county is working to get those out.
Broward County is one of the biggest counties in the state-- so, even if just a small percentage of people haven't gotten their ballots, yet, it turns out to be a lot of people.
Brenda Snipes, the Broward County Elections Supervisor, tell us here at WLRN that they are working hard to get out those ballots on time.
"We are going to get it done," she says.
That said, worst case scenario: if someone doesn't get their absentee ballot and Election Day is just a few days away, you have options.
Lee Rowland, legal counsel at the Brennan Center, a leading voting rights group, says you can still vote even if you don't get the absentee ballot you requested.
Rowland says you have two options:
"The first is, Floridians can actually track online where their absentee ballot is," Rowland says. "Everyone can go to their own county supervisor of elections website-- or the state division of elections website offers a voter information lookup, which both can tell you what the status of your ballot is."
"Now, let's say that doesn't work or somebody does know that or doesn't get online in time," she says. "You can also cast a full ballot at the polls, even if you requested an absentee ballot-- so long as you never filled out and turned in that ballot."
She says it is illegal to double vote, but you do have that fail safe if you don't get your ballot.
Rowland also says that if the supervisor of elections office will have to confirm, however, that you indeed did not get that ballot.
If you got an absentee ballot but want to vote at the polls, you can also bring your ballot to the polls, officials will void it and then hand you a ballot there at your polling location.
If there is any doubt about whether you did or didn't get your ballot when you get the polls, Rowland says you still have another option.
"Worst case scenario, the person will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot which generally will be counted after the election, so long as a supervisor doesn't have evidence that they double voted," she says.
Rowland also urges people to make sure they have their most recent address updated with their county supervisor or elections.