How to Request Absentee Ballots
To request absentee ballots, or for answers to questions about absentee ballots that are not covered below, please contact our Absentee Processing Department at (850) 627-9910 or contact our office in person, by phone, by mail or online. You may also use this Absentee Ballot Request Form, which can be distributed to others.
Any registered voter in Gadsden County may request absentee ballots. Requests for absentee ballots may be submitted for single or multiple elections, or for all elections through the next regularly scheduled general election.
All requests for an absentee ballot to be mailed to a voter must be received by the Elections Office no later than 5 PM the sixth day before the election. All absentee ballots must be mailed by the Elections Office no later than the fourth day before the election.
A voter may request an absentee ballot for him or herself in person or in writing. If a person makes a ballot request for someone else in writing, or for anyone, including himself or herself, by telephone, the following information must be given for the voter whose ballot is being requested:
- Date of birth
In addition, the person making the request must give the following information about himself or herself:
- Driver's license number (if available)
- Relationship to person whose ballot is being requested
- Signature (if written request)
(In addition to the required information, we request a phone number so that the voter can be reached in case of a problem processing his or her ballot request, and the requestor's voter registration number, if it is available.)
Ballot requests may not be made for anyone other than members of one's immediate family, which is defined as one's spouse, one's child, parent, grandparent, or sibling, or one's spouse's child, parent, grandparent, or sibling. Requests may also be made by a voter's legal guardian.
All mailed absentee ballots must be sent to the mailing address on file with the elections office unless the voter is out of the county and will not return before the election, or if they are in the military, are overseas, are in a hospital or nursing home, are unable to occupy their home due to a emergency or natural disaster, or in a few other limited situations. It is very important that voters notify us of any address changes after absentee ballot requests are made, because absentee ballots, with the exception of those ballots sent overseas or to members of the military, are not forwardable by the postal service. Any mail that is sent to a voter by the elections office and that is returned as undeliverable by the US Postal Service will cause any pending absentee ballot requests for that voter to be cancelled. If there is a permanent address change for the voter's registration record, please indicate this when making the request, and give the new permanent address. Be sure to indicate for which election(s) ballots are being requested.All voters are required to mark their own absentee ballots, unless they have a disability that prevents them from doing so.
If a voter has registered by mail and has no Florida driver's license, Florida identification card or social security number, and has not submitted a copy of their photo identification, they must show identification the first time they vote after registering. Voters in this situation who request absentee ballots will be mailed a special certificate and a special envelope in which to remit a copy of their identification along with their ballot. If a voter is required to provide ID and they return their absentee ballot without a copy of their ID or without affirming that they are exempt from the requirement, their ballot will be rejected.
Instead of having absentee ballots mailed, voters may vote early at or take home a ballot from any branch of the Supervisor of Elections office. See the Early Voting page for information about early voting. Take home ballots are generally available three weeks before the date of the election, although it would be a good idea to contact the elections office at Info@gadsdensoe.com to be sure that the ballots have arrived before coming in to get one.
Five days prior to Election Day, or on Election Day itself, if a voter is unable to pick up a ballot, he or she may designate another person to pick it up for him or her. This designation must be in writing and must be signed. The designee must show photo identification before they may pick up the ballot. No one may pick up more than two ballots for other voters, except for members of his or her immediate family as defined above.
If a voter cannot mail or personally return his or her absentee ballot, he or she may have someone else return it. Regardless of how they are returned, all absentee ballots must be received at the Supervisor of Elections office by 7 PM on the day of the election to be eligible to be counted. They can be returned to any branch of the office by that time.
Absentee ballots must be returned in the certificate envelope that is included with the ballot. The certificate on this envelope must be signed and the signature must match the voter's signature in our registration records, or the ballot will not be counted. All absentee ballots that are received from voters and which have properly completed certificates are counted in every election. Rumors which state that absentee ballots are only counted in close elections or are not counted at all are absolutely false.
If an absentee ballot is requested and received, but then the voter decides to vote at his or her polling place instead, the voter should take the absentee ballot to the polling place and give it to the pollworkers, who will then allow him or her to vote a regular ballot. If the voter does not bring his or her unvoted absentee ballot and the pollworkers cannot verify that the voter's ballot has not been received by the elections office, the voter must vote by provisional ballot.
Absentee voters can check on the status of their ballot request by clicking here and entering their last name (or voter ID number), date of birth and house number. On the resulting page, click on the View Current Election Cycle Ballot Status link and you will be shown whether your absentee ballot request has been received, whether your ballot has been mailed to you or whether your returned ballot has been received by our office.
Overseas voters who are not able to vote during the normal voting period due to military or other contingencies may request, not earlier than 180 days and not later than 90 days before a general election, a state write-in ballot. This ballot will list the offices that are scheduled to appear on the general election ballot. The voter may designate a candidate or party for whom he or she chooses to vote. Overseas voters may also request electronic transmission of ballots -- see the Absentee Ballots for Military and Overseas Voters page for additional information.