NewsLocal News


Proposed bill calls for earlier deadlines for vote-by-mail ballots

The deadline to mail would move from four days out to eight
Posted at 6:18 PM, Apr 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-03 18:18:02-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida Legislature is looking at another bill that would focus on election reform.

One of its most controversial parts would move up deadlines for mail-in ballots.

House Bill 7101 would change the deadline to request those ballots to 10 days before an election, instead of six days.

The deadline for supervisors to mail the ballots would move from four days out to eight.

Leon County Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley says the intent is to avoid issues from past elections.

"By backing out ten days instead of the six, we can get it to them. They won't receive it then, but it's happened many, many, many times, thousands of times, voters are getting their vote-by-mail ballot that they're expecting to return to us through the mail on Election Day, and they have to be in our office by 7 p.m. on Election Day," said Earley. "So, the current statute is, to me, what disenfranchises voters."

Critics of the bill say moving up the deadlines limits the ability of thousands to vote, but the bill's sponsor says it's actually a push to ensure every ballot gets counted.