a political poster with the words vote in red, white and blue

Florida voters who grew accustomed, in the pandemic years, to receiving their election ballots in the mail won’t get what they’re expecting this year if they haven’t reregistered for the vote-by-mail option. 

“A request to receive a vote-by-mail ballot covers all elections from the date a request was submitted through the end of the calendar year for the next ensuing, regularly scheduled, general election,” states the Florida Division of Elections website. “A request must then be renewed thereafter if the voter wishes to continue to receive a vote-by-mail ballot after the expiration of each time period thereafter. 

“If a vote-by-mail ballot is returned undeliverable during any election, it will cancel a request on record. If the voter requests a ballot thereafter, the voter must provide or confirm his or her current residential address before being able to get a ballot,” the website states.

Don’t worry, it’s easy to reregister for the vote-by-mail option, but Monroe County Supervisor of Elections Joyce Griffin remains concerned that voters aren’t aware that their requests expire.

Griffin has been keeping track of the number of vote-by-mail requests in recent years and emailing regular updates and reminders to voters, tinged with a bit of humor.

On Dec. 21, 2023, Griffin wrote in an email: 

“Good Afternoon: Only Republicans will be voting on the March 19, 2024 Presidential Preference Primary (PPP). At this time we have 3,773 Republican vote-by-mail requests for the March 2024 election. As of now, we have 23,365 Republicans in Monroe County.

“As of  today, Dec. 21, 2023, the number of vote-by-mail requests we have for the August 2024 election from all parties is 8,772 — 3,682 requests from Democrats and 3,966 requests from Republicans.

 “On Feb. 12, 2020 we had 11,831 requests for vote-by-mail ballots. What does this mean? In my mind, this means 3,059 voters will be very upset with me when they don’t receive their vote- by-mail ballot.

“Please help us get the message out that the law changed, and every voter who wants a vote by mail ballot must request one each election cycle. Request now for all of 2024, or check your vote-by-mail status at the following links:

“Request a vote-by-mail ballot: keyselections.org/Voters/Vote-by-Mail-Request  

“Check your vote-by-mail status to determine whether a ballot is coming in the mail:  keyselections.org/Voters/My-Vote-by-Mail-Status.

“For all other local election and candidate information, visit keyselections.org.”

Mandy Miles
Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.