Lee County supervisor of elections says mail-in ballots are secure

Reporter: Dannielle Garcia Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
FILE – In this Nov. 1, 2016, file photo, mail-in ballots for the 2016 General Election are shown at the elections ballot center at the Salt Lake County Government Center, in Salt Lake City. As President Donald Trump rails against voting by mail, many members of his own political party are embracing it to keep their voters safe during the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

One week into early voting, more than 1.7 million Floridians have cast ballots ahead of the Aug. 18 primary election.

Tommy Doyle, the Lee County supervisor of elections, is often asked if mail-in ballots are safe, secure, and will be counted. The short answer from him is yes.

“So behind here is our ballot vault where all the unopened ballots are stored,” Doyle said. “We’ve been doing mail-in voting for quite a while.”

The first step of the mail-in process is to verify the signature on the envelope.

“So the bar code that’s on your envelope is scanned, and it brings up the file of the voter, and his signature is matched proving that person sent it in,” Doyle explained. “So, if your signature doesn’t match, then that goes to the canvassing board to verify that mismatch, but, immediately, the voter is notified that the signature does not match.”

A team member fires up a machine that removes the individual ballots from the envelopes. Another worker takes the ballots to a separate room where they are counted.

A voter must be precise so poll workers can perform their jobs and count your vote the way you intended.

For the primary, the supervisor of elections received 180,000 requests for mail-in ballots. His office has already tallied 81,000 of them.

If you don’t trust the mail, look for a dropbox in public. There are four locations in Lee County for you to submit your mail-in ballot. Click here for that information.

Doyle also said he gets lots of questions about possible fraud. He said it’s not possible. After you send your mail-in ballot in Lee County, you can track your ballot at the Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office website.

If they’ve already counted your vote and you show up to vote at the polls, the poll workers will know and you will be turned away.

MORE: Early Voting – Lee County Supervisor of Elections

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