Vote By Mail
First of all, you need to register to vote. Once you’ve registered, you have five ways to request a vote-by-mail ballot from the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections:
- Online: Fill out the Mail Ballot Request Form
- Phone: 727-464-8683 (VOTE)
- Email: MailBallotRequests@VotePinellas.com
- Mail: Supervisor of Elections, 13001 Starkey Rd., Largo, FL 33773
- In Person: At one of the three Supervisor or Elections Offices
When you request your mail ballot, you must provide:
- Full name
- Your residence address
- Address where you want the ballot to be mailed (if different from your residence)
- Date of birth
If you want your mail ballot to be sent to an address that is different from the address(es) that the Supervisor of Elections already has on file for you, then you must include your signature on your mail ballot request. You can print and sign the online form and send a copy to the Supervisor of Elections by mail, fax or email. Or you can just write your mail ballot request information on a normal piece of paper, sign it, take a picture of it, and email the picture to MailBallotRequests@VotePinellas.com.
We recommend you provide your phone number and email address so the Supervisor of Elections office can quickly contact you if there is a problem or a question.
Requests to vote-by-mail are only good for up to two general elections, so even if you have voted by mail in the past you may need to request a mail ballot again this year. You can use the online tracking tool to check if you are currently signed up to receive a mail ballot for the 2020 general election.
You can request a mail ballot at any time.
The deadline to request a mail ballot to be mailed to you is 10 days before Election Day. For the 2020 General Election, this deadline is October 24 at 5 p.m. However, when you factor in the time required for the ballot to get to you and for you to fill it out and return it, you’ll probably need more time than that. That’s why we recommend you request your mail ballot as soon as you decide to get one.
If you miss the 10-day deadline, you can still request a mail ballot, but you will need to go pick it up from one of the three Supervisor of Elections offices:
- 501 1st Ave N in St Petersburg
- 315 Court St in Clearwater
- 13001 Starkey Road in Largo
We recommend you call 727-464-8683 in advance to arrange pick up if you need to do this, and please avoid waiting until Election Day to go pick up your ballot unless you have no other choice.
If you did not request a mail ballot before Election Day, but you are experiencing an emergency that will not allow you to get to the polls, you can request a mail ballot on Election Day. You can also designate someone else to pick it up for you. To do this, fill out and sign this affidavit (English | Spanish) confirming you won’t be able to vote at your polling place on Election Day due to an emergency. In addition, you and the person you designate to pick up your ballot must also fill out and sign this authorization form (English | Spanish) and your designee will have to provide a valid photo ID when picking up your ballot. This process can take a couple hours, so if you need to do this, do it as early as possible on Election Day.
Again, we recommend requesting your mail ballot as soon as possible so you do not run the risk of encountering last-minute complications on or near Election Day.
The actual process of voting by mail is very similar to the process of voting in person. When you fill out your ballot, make sure to do the following:
- DO use black ink.
- DO fill in the oval next to your preferred candidate’s name
- DON’T circle or underline your preferred candidate’s name.
- DON’T circle or underline your preferred party’s name under the assumption that this will be counted as votes for that party’s candidates on your ballot.
- DON’T mark the ballot outside of the ovals.
Once you have filled out your ballot, put it into the secrecy sleeve it came with, then put the ballot and secrecy sleeve inside the return envelope, and seal the envelope.
This is very important: SIGN YOUR NAME ON THE BACK OF THE ENVELOPE. The Supervisor of Elections has said people failing to sign their envelopes is a main reason for problems with voting by mail, so this is a very simple and effective way to ensure your vote is counted.
Writing your phone number and email on the envelope is optional, but we recommend you include it so the Supervisor of Elections can quickly contact you if there’s a problem with your signature. Otherwise they will contact you via mail.
Ballots for domestic voters are mailed 40 days before Election Day, and ballots for overseas voters are mailed 45 days before Election Day.
In 2020, mail ballots for domestic Pinellas County voters will start being mailed out on September 29 for the November general election. After this, ballots are mailed out as requests are received and processed. Please note that it may take a few days for you to receive your ballot. You can track your mail ballot online to see when it has been mailed to you.
If Election Day is 3 weeks away and you have not yet received your mail ballot, call the Supervisor of Elections at 727-464-8683. If your ballot is truly lost, you can request a replacement ballot. Each voter has a right to receive up to two replacement ballots, but only the first ballot received by the Supervisor of Elections will be counted.
Ballots are NOT forwardable. If you move, be sure to update your address as soon as possible. If you don’t receive your mail ballot and suspect it may have been returned as undeliverable, we recommend that you call the Supervisor of Elections office immediately at 727-464-8683.
Once the ballots are printed, you have the option to pick up your mail ballot in person at the Supervisor of Elections office. If you need to do this, please call the Supervisor of Elections office in advance at 727-464-8683. In the 9 days before Election Day, you also have the option to designate someone else to pick up your mail ballot for you. To do this, you and the person you designate must fill out and sign the authorization form (English / Español) and the person picking up the ballot for you must show valid ID.
Your ballot must arrive at the Supervisor of Elections office by 7 p.m. on Election Day. Late arrival is the number one reason that mail ballots end up not being counted. You have three ways to get your mail ballot back to the Supervisor of Elections on time:
1. MAIL IT: Your 2020 ballot will already have postage on it, according to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections, so you just need to drop it in the U.S. Mail - no stamps necessary!
Contrary to popular belief, a postmark date is not enough. Because post offices see high volume around elections, we recommend mailing your ballot at least 3 weeks before Election Day to ensure it gets there in time and to give you plenty of time to track it and resolve any issues that may arise. The earlier you mail it, the better!
2. DROP IT OFF IN PERSON: Mail ballots can only be dropped off in secure ballot drop boxes at designated locations during specific times.
From October 19 - November 2 there will be over twenty remote ballot drop-off locations available in Pinellas County for the 2020 general election. The opening days and hours of different drop-off locations vary, so be sure to check before you go!
On Election Day November 3, you can drop off your mail ballot at one of the three Supervisor of Elections offices between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Those offices are located at:
- 501 1st Ave. N in St Petersburg
- 315 Court St. in Clearwater
- 13001 Starkey Road in Largo
Any time after you receive your mail ballot, you can drop it off at one of the three Supervisor of Elections offices during opening hours.
3. ASK SOMEONE ELSE TO DROP IT OFF FOR YOU: You can ask a friend, family member or neighbor to drop your mail ballot off for you (as long as no payment or other compensation is exchanged).
If you have a mail ballot but you decide you want to vote in person on Election Day or during Early Voting instead, you can!
Bring your mail ballot to your polling place and give it to the poll worker. They will cancel your mail ballot and give you an in-person ballot so you can vote at the polling place.
IMPORTANT: You cannot drop off your completed mail ballot at your polling place on Election Day. Every election, our non-partisan poll monitors report many instances of voters attempting to drop off their mail ballots at polling places on Election Day. You cannot do this! You must either turn in your mail ballot and vote with an in-person ballot instead, or you must take your mail ballot to one of the three Supervisor of Elections offices by 7 p.m.
Here are some things to be aware of when voting in person after requesting a mail ballot:
- If you’ve already filled out your mail ballot, you can take a photo of it with your phone and use it for reference in the voting booth. However, you cannot take both ballots with you into the voting booth.
- If you show up at your polling place without your mail ballot, the poll workers will check the system or contact the Supervisor of Elections office to confirm they have not already received your mail ballot. If that is confirmed, you’ll be given a regular in-person ballot to vote.
- If the office cannot confirm that your mail ballot has not already been cast, you’ll still be able to vote, but you will be given a provisional ballot. Be aware that you may need to follow up to cure your ballot so that it can be counted (if this is required, the poll workers will give you instructions on what to do). This process is in place to ensure voters cannot vote twice.
- On Election Day, you MUST vote in the correct polling place for your current residence. If you cast a provisional ballot while at the wrong polling place on Election Day, your vote might not be counted. If you recently moved, you can change your address at the polls (or by calling the Supervisor of Elections office in advance at 727-464-8683), so be sure to go to the polling place for your new residence. You can find the correct polling place for your current residence by using the “Find Precinct” tool.
You can track the status of your mail ballot online by using the Track Your Ballot tool. If the tool displays the status of “Received,” you’re OK. That basically means your ballot has been received, the signatures match and the ballot is ready to be counted when tabulation starts.
If you do not see “Received” when you check the status of your ballot, you have two options:
- You can wait a little longer. There may be backlogs and delays in the system, which could affect the speed with which ballots are processed.
- You can contact the Supervisor of Elections. If you mailed your ballot in a timely fashion and the status has not been updated to “Received” after 10-14 days, we suggest you call 727-464-8683 to determine your next steps.
Mail ballots marked “Received” will have that status even on Election Day. This is not indicative of an issue with your ballot! The online system does not update the statuses to "counted" in real time. This status will generally appear after Election Day, and in batches.
If your mail ballot arrives at the Supervisor of Elections office and there is a problem with it, the ballot tracking tool will indicate that there is a problem. The Supervisor of Elections is legally required to notify you so you can fix the problem by 5 p.m. on the Thursday after Election Day. You will be notified by mail, and if you provided your phone number and/or email address on your voter registration or your ballot envelope, you will also be notified using those methods as well. This is why we strongly recommend you include your phone number and/or email address on your ballot envelope.
No. While most mail will be forwarded to the recipient’s new address, mail ballots cannot be forwarded. That means you will not receive your ballot if you have not updated your address.
We urge you to contact the Supervisor of Elections as soon as possible after moving to update your address. You can update your address the following ways:
- Online: Address Change Service
- Phone: 727-464-8683
If you don’t receive your mail ballot and suspect it may have been returned as undeliverable, we recommend that you call the Supervisor of Elections office immediately at 727-464-8683.
If you requested a mail ballot and it does not arrive, you can vote in person instead at Early Voting or on Election Day. You must present photo and signature ID to vote in person. The ID you present must be valid, but it is OK if you have not yet updated the address on your ID. You can find a list of acceptable forms of ID here.
For the 2020 general election, Early Voting will be available from October 19 to November 1, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., at five locations. As long as your new residence is in Pinellas County and you are already registered to vote in Florida, you can go to any of these five locations.
If you decide to vote in person on Election Day, please be sure to go to the correct polling location for your NEW address. You can update your address at the polling place, as long as you are already registered to vote in Florida. However, we recommend calling the Supervisor of Elections in advance to update your address, as doing so at a polling place on Election Day may be a stressful experience for all involved.
You have the right to request up to two replacement ballots. To request one, call the Supervisor of Elections at 727-464-8683.
Please note that if you return multiple ballots, the Supervisor of Elections will only count the first one it receives.
When your ballot arrives at the Supervisor of Elections office, the signature on the back of the envelope will be compared to the signature that the Supervisor of Elections has on file for you.
If you registered to vote online or when you got your driver license, the signature on your Florida driver license or Florida ID will be used. If you registered or updated your voter record with a paper form, the signature on the most recent paper form is used. Be aware that your signature on file is not automatically updated every time you vote, whether that’s in person or by mail, so if you want to update your signature, you must follow the process outlined below.
- Print out the form
- Check the “Record Update/Change” box
- Fill out lines 1-7
- Enter your phone number on line 10 so that the Supervisor of Elections can call you if needed
- On line 12, sign the form with your current signature and date the form
- Mail the form to: Supervisor of Elections, 13001 Starkey Rd, Largo, FL 33773-1416.
You can also go to one of the three Supervisor of Elections offices to drop off the form or update your signature in person.
We recommend that you update your signature by October 5 for the 2020 general election.
If you are notified that your ballot has a signature issue, you have until 5 p.m. on the Thursday after Election Day to resolve it. This may require you to sign and submit a signature affidavit.
The Supervisor of Elections is legally required to notify you if your ballot has a signature issue. You will be notified by mail, and if you provided your phone number and/or email address on your voter registration or your ballot envelope, you will also be notified using those methods as well. This is why we strongly recommend you provide your phone number and/or email address on your voter registration and your ballot envelope.