Get the Facts.
How do mail ballot drop boxes work?
Counties have set up drop boxes in different ways, with some offering drive-through options, some having 24-hour drop boxes and others more simply offering secure boxes within elections offices and early voting sites.
Some of the boxes are small and portable, while others have drop boxes that look like fortified mail boxes and are bolted to the ground and others use a slot in a wall of a building that drops into a secured room or box.
Voters wanting to drop their mail ballots off in a drop box rather than putting them in the mail should still ensure their ballot and envelope are properly completed, including putting their signature on the envelope.
Where can I find one?
Florida law now requires counties to have secure drop boxes at supervisor of elections office and at each early voting site. (A couple counties said they did not have drop boxes in place for the August primary but plan to have them for November.)
Counties can also choose to place drop boxes at certain other sites, although few counties have opted to do that so far. Pinellas County is one of them; it is offering drop boxes at 25 sites for the November general election, even though it has only five early voting sites for the general election.
When will drop boxes be available?
Check with your county supervisor of elections office for details on when drop boxes will become available and during what hours or days.
Some counties are offering 24-hour drop boxes, while others are only making them available during business or early voting hours. Click here to see a Dropbox Comparison of all 67 Florida counties.
Will there be a drop box at my polling place on Election Day?
During a recent workshop with Florida’s county supervisors of elections, Brad McVay, general counsel with the Florida Department of State, said that drop boxes are generally not allowed at polling places on Election Day.
However, voters who received a mail ballot and instead want to vote in person can do so by bringing in their mail ballot and exchanging it for a regular ballot at their polling place.
What is the security on drop boxes?
A Tampa Bay Times survey of county elections offices found that many required drop boxes be manned by elections staff at all times. Counties reported using locks and seals to ensure against tampering. Counties with 24-hour drop boxes have said the boxes are monitored by surveillance cameras.
Why has President Trump attacked the use of drop boxes in some states?
President Donald Trump has alleged without evidence that the use of drop boxes is a “voter security disaster.”
The Trump campaign sued to block elections officials in Pennsylvania from using official drop boxes in places other than an elections office. It argued in part that the drop boxes could increase the potential for ballot fraud or tampering, including ballot harvesting, which is illegal in that state.
When ordered by a federal court judge to provide evidence for its claims of issues with fraud, the campaign offered no evidence of fraud specifically tied to drop boxes or to mail ballots, according to Type Investigations, which reviewed the partially redacted response from the campaign. That federal lawsuit has since been placed on hold.
Who is allowed to collect and turn in my mail ballot for me?
Unlike some other states, Florida law allows people to collect completed ballots as long as they are not paid to do so. Except in Miami-Dade, which has a county code limiting any designee from returning more than two ballots per election, there is no limit to how many completed mail ballots one person can turn in.