By: Commissioner Robert Weinroth
While we have been focused on stemming the spread of the new coronavirus, it is important not to forget we have a Primary Election coming up on Aug. 18 and the General Election (where federal, state and local offices will be selected by the voters) is scheduled for Nov. 3.
For many, the thought of going out into large groups to cast a ballot is a bit disquieting. Hopefully, as we approach the summer, COVID-19 will be less of a factor in our daily activities with additional precautions in place (social distancing coupled with public and private hygiene) and, perhaps a vaccine. However, August is always a month with the potential for a tropical storm or hurricane and, who knows, it might snow in November!
To ensure the fullest participation of our electorate, our stakeholders are being urged to request a Vote by Mail ballot from the Supervisor of Elections. Should you decide you would like to vote, in person, as the elections approach, the ballot received by mail can be hand carried to the polling place and voided by a poll worker to expedite the process of allowing you to vote at the precinct.
If you have not already signed up to Vote by Mail and would like to, please go to the SOE website at PBCElections.org. There is a button in the center of their home page. It takes two minutes or less to sign up!
Here’s some additional information Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link recently provided:
“As your Supervisor of Elections, I am working with our elections team here locally and with Supervisors across Florida to ensure the integrity and accuracy of the elections are protected, as well as the safety of those who participate in the process.”
“I am encouraging all Palm Beach County voters to sign up to vote by mail for the upcoming 2020 August and November elections. It’s critically important that every voter has their voice heard, regardless of COVID-19.”
- Voting by mail is safe, secure and is not impacted by COVID-19.
- For the first time ever (thanks to the support of the Board of County Commissioners of PBC), return postage on your Vote by Mail ballot is pre-paid.
- You can request a ballot online at PBCElections.org/Voters/Vote-By-Mail or by calling the SOE office at 561.656.6208.
You should periodically make sure your voter information is up to date. Particular attention should be paid to changes in your signature. It’s a little known fact that your signature is automatically updated each time you renew you driver’s license, in person. If you quickly dash off a “squiggle” and that does not resemble the signature you offer at the polling location or on your Vote by Mail ballot there could be a delay in tabulating your vote until this can be rectified.
With the SOE’s new website, residents can make sure their voter information is current and accurate without ever leaving your home.
- Register to vote.
- Update your signature or address.
- Change or update your party affiliation.
- Learn more here: PBCElections.org/Voters/Update-Voter-Information
Remember, you will only be able to vote in non-partisan elections (e.g., judicial races) if you have not “affiliated” with a major party. After the primary, you are free to unaffiliated (otherwise known as an NPA – no party affiliated). Party affiliation is not necessary to vote in the General Election.
While COVID-19 is causing us to adjust how we live, work and even vote, the Supervisor of Elections and county administration is adapting to these new challenges. They are working to ensure every voter has the opportunity to have their voice heard.
DID YOU KNOW Vote by Mail ballots and EARLY VOTING ballots are tabulated before the ballots cast on the date of the election?
A member of the SOE team will be dispatched to the USPS facility on the evening of election to ensure all ballots received on or before Election Day are counted. Oversees ballots have an extended deadline which can put an added wrinkle into races, such as one in West Palm Beach in March where the elected commissioner won by a single vote.