Q: Vote By Mail is very popular this election cycle. Do you have any final statistics from the August Primary Election?
A: Here are some statistics from the August Primary:
· 49, 820 Vote by Mail ballots were mailed for the Primary Election.
· 27,158 were voted and returned.
· 1,068 ballots were returned to the Elections Office as undeliverable mail.
· 59 Vote by Mail ballots were not counted because voters did not sign their envelope and 27 Vote by Mail ballots were not counted because the voter’s signature did not match their record. When a voter does not sign their ballot or their signature differs, the voter is contacted (phone, email and US Mail) and given the opportunity to cure his or her signature until 5 p.m. on the second day following the election.
· 234 ballots were received late and could not be counted. Most of these ballots were mailed on Election Day or the day after the election.
· 7 vote by mail ballots were turned in at the polls on Election Day and could not be counted.
Q: Looking ahead to the General Election on Nov. 3, what are some of the upcoming important dates?
A: The deadline to register for the General Election is Oct. 5. Early Voting will be held Oct. 19 – Oct. 31. All 10 Early Voting locations are listed on our website.
Q: Will voters receive sample ballots in the mail?
A: Yes, sample ballots will be mailed by our office on Oct. 1, but they are also available on our website by using the “My Voter Status” link. I recommend that voters do their homework and be prepared when they show up to vote. The ballot is long — two full pages, front and back — as there are a lot of candidates, judges, and six Constitutional Amendments, and everything is in both English and Spanish.
Also, while looking at our website, I recommend taking the time to verify that all of your voter information (such as current address) is up to date. Please call our office before voting to notify us of any changes.
Q: Back to Vote By Mail, can you give some directions for the General Election?
A: There seems to be some confusion on the part of voters about returning their Vote By Mail ballot. The drop boxes are only available at Early Voting locations during Early Voting, Oct. 19 – Oct. 31. They are NOT available after Oct. 31 or on Election Day. Other tips include:
· In order to count, Vote By Mail ballots MUST be received in the Elections Office no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.
· Do not mail your ballot on Election Day, it will be late and will not count. I recommend mailing them at least a week before.
· Do not turn your voted ballot in at the polls; you can surrender it and vote in person.
· Sign your envelope.
· Update your signature if it has changed over the years.
· If you are contacted by the Elections Office regarding your ballot, please respond immediately; we will provide information on what you need to do to cure your ballot so it will count.
· Visit www.votesjc.com/My-Voter-Page/My-Voter-Status to track your Vote By Mail ballot.
Q: What is the best way for our readers to contact you?
A: Readers can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at (904) 823-2238. Our website, www.votesjc.com also has a wealth of information.