Key Takeaway: Florida should have results on Election Night. Officials have had 3 weeks to process vote-by-mail ballots and expect nearly all to be counted by the times polls close. But mail delays could upend Florida's smooth election and turn their Election Night dream into a nightmare.
Last Polls Close: 8PM
Last Mail Ballots: Election Day*
Votes Processed: Oct. 12
Vote Certified: Nov. 17
*Overseas absentee ballots can arrive through Nov. 13 if postmarked by Nov. 3.
Early in-person and counted mail ballots are reported first.
The Big Number: 22 Days
Florida gives election officials over three weeks to process vote-by-mail ballots. That is crucial when processing 4.7 million mail ballots, double the 2016 total.
Floridians have had strong early voting for several elections, but nearly 9 million voted early or by-mail in 2020. 9.4 million voted total in 2016. Florida is bullish on the states ability to have results on Election Night, because only a small fraction of ballots will remain to be counted by the time polls close.
But this could all change in an extremely close election. Right now registered Democrats hold a 115,000 vote lead over Republicans, but that number stood at over 200,000 in 2016 and Hillary Clinton lost by 100,000 votes. The big difference this time is 63% of all registered voters have already voted and nearly matched 2016 total turnout.
What to watch for
- 1,266,957 vote-by-mail ballots had not been returend by Nov. 2.
- Florida voters must request a mail ballot so expect a good portion of these to be returned or those voters to vote in-person.
- The final number not returned in 2016 was 615,000.
- Mail delays may arise as a source of legal challenges if the election is close.
- 48 ballots were found undelivered at one USPS location in Miami-Dade County prompting fears that other ballots may be held up in the mail.
- Miami-Dade was crucial to Bush's 2000 victory.
Postal Agents Sweep Florida Mail Facilities for Undelivered Ballots
Days after dozens of undelivered ballots were found sitting in a post office near Homestead, NBC 6 has learned agents with the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General planned a sweep of other mail facilities for ballots. While the details of the sweep were not made available, NBC 6 was t
Brian Sheehan —postalnews.com
State Attorney Statement On Massive South Miami-Dade County Postal Delay
The State Attorney’s Office stands ready to act on every citizen’s behalf to preserve the integrity of our elections and every vote cast.
Press Release Desk —Patch
Fla. Judge Orders USPS To Up Reporting On Mailed Ballots - Law360
A Florida federal judge ordered the U.S. Postal Service on Monday to issue reports on the status of election mail to a union suing over mail delivery delays, and told USPS to use whatever “extraordinary measures” might be necessary to make sure ballots are in the hands of county supervisors of elect…
Carolina Bolado —Law360 - The Newswire for Business Lawyers