The Aug. 18 primary election, the upcoming mailers, and vote by mail

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Vicki Cannon / Nassau County Supervisor of Elections

As the Aug. 18 primary and Nov. 3 general elections near, I want you to know that your Elections Team has been hard at work planning and preparing to provide you with safe, secure and convenient methods to vote. I will be preparing press releases as often as needed to provide updates and factual information to Nassau County citizens to ensure a safe, transparent, and smooth voting experience for all voters.

t Aug. 18 primary election

• Ballot styles: In a primary election, your ballot style is based on your residential address and your party affiliation. Every voter will receive a ballot with the same races except for the Republican ballot style, which will have one additional race: Representative in Congress, District 4.

• Representative in Congress, District 4 race: In order to vote in this race, a voter must be registered as Republican. The deadline to change party affiliation for this election is July 20, 2020. The Republican candidate who receives a majority of the votes will face a Democratic and write-in candidate in the general election.

•  Universal primary contests: There are seven races that are Universal Primary Contests on the ballot. This means that candidates with the same party affiliation qualified for the seat and, because there were no other candidates to face in the General Election, all registered voters in Nassau County are eligible to vote in these races. The candidate with the highest number of votes in the primary election will be elected to the seat.

•  District races: In Nassau County, the county commission, School Board, and Ocean Highway and Port Authority are at large districts. This means that all registered voters in the county are eligible to vote in all district races. Provided your address is correct in your voter record, you are eligible to vote for any contest on your ballot. You will never be issued a ballot with a race for which you are not eligible to vote.

•  Nonpartisan races (county judge and School Board): The following nonpartisan races are on the ballot:

• County judge: There are four candidates in this race. If one candidate does not receive a majority of the votes (50% plus 1 vote) in the primary election, the two candidates with the highest number of votes will be on the ballot in the general election.

•  School Board: There are only two candidates in the race. Therefore, the race will be decided in the primary and will not be on the general election ballot. The candidate with a majority of the votes will win.

•  Polling place changes: There have been eight polling place changes for the upcoming elections. A new Voter Information Card is being mailed to every registered voter with the name and address of the voter’s current polling place.

•  Vote-by-Mail ballots: Florida law does not allow ballots for domestic voters to be mailed any earlier than 40 days prior to an election. Vote-by-Mail
ballots for voters who had a request on file were mailed on July 9 and will be mailed daily to voters who request them. The last day to request a Vote-by-Mail ballot be mailed is Aug. 8 at 5 p.m.

t Upcoming mailers from the Nassau County Supervisor of Elections Office

•  Every registered voter will be mailed a new Voter Information Card between July 20-24.

– For those voters who have a polling place change, a Notice to Voter will be noted on the front of the mailer.

– All voters will be provided a detachable postage-paid Vote-by-Mail Request Form. I strongly encourage every voter to request a Vote-by-Mail ballot this year. By doing so, you will have your ballot at your fingertips in the event of a hurricane, pandemic such as COVID-19, an unexpected family emergency or a business obligation arises, and you can return it by dropping it off at an early voting site during early voting hours, returning it by mail at least seven days prior to election day as recommended by the postal service, or delivering it to the Supervisor of Elections Office. You can track your Vote-by-Mail ballot at www.VoteNassau.com to show when it was requested, sent, received and counted (no voter error so ballot will be counted). It’s like taking extra medications on your person when you are traveling and separated from your luggage – you have it if you need it! You can always vote in person if you choose to do so.

– No later than July 28, every registered voter will be mailed their Sample Ballot for the Aug. 18 primary election with specific ballot style, early voting dates, times and locations, acceptable forms of identification if voting in person, how to prepare before going to vote and upon arrival and much more!

Both of these mailers will have the residence address and mailing address as currently shown in your voter record. It is extremely important that you verify your residence and mailing address are accurate to ensure you receive the correct
ballot style when voting. If it is not correct or you do not receive these mailers, please contact our office immediately and we will assist you, or visit www.VoteNassau.com to update your voter record.

•  A Voter Guide will be mailed to every household in Nassau County around July 17 to provide all Nassau County citizens with an opportunity to register to vote and/or update their voter record, information on COVID-19 preparations, polling place changes, and other important election information. 

t Facts about Vote-by-Mail laws in Florida

There has been confusion about the difference between a full mail ballot election (allowed in some states), where every registered voter is mailed a ballot, versus voting by mail in Florida, where a voter has to request their ballot be mailed. Florida is a state that has three methods to vote: by mail, early voting, or on election day. I am confident that Vote-by-Mail laws in Florida provide a controlled and verifiable method to ensure voter fraud does not occur, for some of the following reasons:

•  Florida law does not allow mailing ballots to every registered voter except for referendum elections for local government elections and a plan must be submitted and approved by the Secretary of State to conduct the full mail ballot election.

•  In Florida, a voter (or immediate family member) can request vote by mail ballots through two General Election cycles and the ballot must be delivered to an address in the voter’s record or the voter has to provide a signed request to mail to another address.

•  Ballots cannot be forwarded and are returned to our office if the address is not current. Therefore, ballots do not end up in the hands of other people. When an undeliverable ballot is received, contact information in the voter’s record is used to notify the voter and a letter is promptly mailed (which is forwardable).

•  In order for the ballot to count, it must be received in the Elections office no later than 7 p.m. on the day of the election and the signature on the Voter’s Certificate must compare to signature(s) in the voter’s record.

•  If there is a voter error (no signature or signature difference), the voter has two days after the election to deliver an affidavit (with proper identification) to cure their error.

Voting by mail in Florida is safe and secure. Unlike mail ballot elections where every registered voter is mailed a ballot and may not expect it, in Florida a voter has to request the ballot, so they expect the ballot to be delivered to them. It’s similar to ordering a product online, you order it and you expect it to be delivered, you can track it, and check on it if it is not received timely the same applies to the vote by mail ballot a voter requested – you expect it and you control it!

Many citizens have contacted our office about mailings, emails and calls they have received which have caused concerns and confusion. If you receive an unofficial mailing, I would recommend you use it as a reminder to visit our official website or call our office directly and then promptly dispose of the
unofficial mailer. For unofficial calls and emails, I would recommend that you not provide your personal information, but that you contact our office directly for assistance.

We are here to assist you and provide you with factual information and efficient, transparent and accurate elections! (904) 491-7500 Toll Free: (866) 260-4301 TDD: (904) 491-7510, Email: info@votenassau.com, website: www.VoteNassau.com.