Broward County Takes Lead on Statewide Undertaking: Re-Starting Vote by Mail Lists From Scratch

Broward County recently got started on an issue facing every state’s Supervisors of Elections: reassembling its vote-by-mail address book.

The Broward County Supervisor of Elections sent a press release reminding voters that they must renew their vote-by-mail requests to vote next election or appear in person to vote. The only exception to this rule is if voters voted by mail by request last election day, November 8, 2022. Anyone who voted in person during the previous election cycle or didn’t vote at all will not automatically be on vote-by-mail lists.

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More than 80% of Broward County’s 1.3 million voters are registered to vote by mail in some capacity, as are 4.3 million voters throughout the state. Estimates say roughly one-third of the state’s electorate votes through the mail. Presumably, most of these 4.3 voters have not renewed and re-verified since election day, but they will have to if they wish to vote by mail by their next opportunity to vote.

The renewal requirements are part of the new mandates in Senate Bill 90, passed in 2021. Previously, one could be registered to vote by mail for two election cycles before renewal; now, it’s down to one.

The new law also requires voters to verification of citizenship to cast a ballot. Those who vote remotely must provide either their Florida driver’s license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number on a new form to show that they are, in fact, a citizen with the right to vote in a given election.

The move is part of a broader effort to tighten election security after the mass controversy surrounding recent American elections, ranging from the 2020 presidential election to Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania races. Nowhere is this security more critical than in states with high levels of illegal immigration, such as Florida.

However, only some are happy with the law. According to Florida Politics, the ACLU calls the tighter security “an unnecessary administrative hurdle,” despite distrust in voting security, throwing the nation into chaos and elected officials’ legitimacy into question over the last few years. Some observers on Twitter banged a similar drum.

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However, others argue that the law does not make voting significantly more difficult and view the law as a welcome anti-cheating measure.

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