FL Vote By Mail (Pinellas County)

Melissa E. (Facebook)

For those of you who wrote to our initial set of counties last year for the Florida Vote By Mail enrollment pilot, you’ll remember that Pinellas was one of them. Now, in cooperation with the Florida Democratic Party, we have the entire (up-to-date) list of Democratic voters there who are not yet enrolled in Vote By Mail.

It’s a tad over 88,000 voters.

If we can encourage enough of them to enroll in Vote By Mail (VBM) at rates similar to how we have with past counties, that’s going to be a WHOLE lot of additional voters developing stronger habits of voting in every election for 4 years!

Fun Facts

Did you know that FL voters can track their mailed ballots online? They can see when the fresh ballot was mailed to them, when the returned ballot was received, and confirmation that their ballot was counted.

Another Fun Fact, on the old touch-tone buttons of telephone keypads, there were letters on the number keys 1-9. Often, companies and others would try to snag telephone numbers where the numbers would “spell” a word or name. To spell the word VOTE, you’d use 8683. This is why you often find that a county elections office has a telephone number ending in 8683. We do not use letters in the written phone number in the VBM campaign talking points because there is too much room for confusion now that not everyone is familiar with that lettering scheme on phone keypads. But, it’s not a typo from one county to the next. It’s VOTE in telephone number-ese. 

The Numbers

For the 2018 General Election, 2.6 million ballots were cast by mail. Voters who were sent ballots by mail enjoyed a turnout rate of 87% compared to only 53% for voters who were not enrolled in VBM.

A number of media estimates were reported guessing that as many as 39,000 or 1.1% of all ballots mailed back were not counted for one reason or another. But, the actual count was 12,670. While that is still a terribly high number, it was out of 2.6 million ballots cast by mail.

Comparing the turnout of the VBM enrollees to the non-enrollees, VBM resulted in 1,256,000 *MORE* votes to be cast in 2018. That means that for every VBM ballot which was unfortunately not counted, VBM added 32 other votes.

There can be no question that VBM can be a winning way for Florida to turn blue in 2020 – and, frankly, in elections up and down the ballot for 4 years like School Board, City Council, etc.

What are you waiting for? Join former Pinellas County resident and #PostcardsToVoters volunteer writer Melissa E. (card pictured above) and write on!

~Tony The Democrat

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