Mail-in voting in Florida is expected to reach record highs due to the coronavirus pandemic, but mismatches between Florida election law and United States Postal Service (USPS) policies could increase the number of mail-in ballots that go uncounted in this hotly-contested sun-belt state.
Prior to the Aug. 18 primary races in Florida, voters submitted 2.1 million mail-in ballots, which far surpasses 2016 and 2018 primary mail-in ballot totals, according to News 4 Jax. Another 554,814 voted early in-person. An analysis performed for Politico by University of Florida political science professor Dan Smith found 60% of the votes cast in the Aug. 18 primary were sent by mail.
The analysis also showed that 35,500 mail-in ballots were rejected, either due to “missed deadlines or technical flaws,” in the August Florida primaries. Almost two-thirds of the rejected mail-in ballots were not counted because they arrived after Florida’s 7 p.m. Election Day deadline. Others were thrown out because there were signature mismatches or discrepancies in the voter identification process.
The 35,500 rejected mail-in ballots accounted for 1.5% of the total vote in Florida’s August primary.
In Florida, 550,338 vote by mail ballots have already been cast