Vote-by-Mail


What is Vote-by-Mail

Vote-by-mail formerly referred to as "Absentee Voting" is a convenient voting option available to all registered voters to receive and cast a paper ballot by mail as an alternative to going to the polls.

Voting by mail is easy and accurate!  

  • Avoid possible lines
  • No schedule conflicts
  • Additional time to study the candidates and issues on the ballot

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Who Can Use a Vote-by-Mail Ballot 

All registered voters are permitted to vote-by-mail under Florida Law and are no longer required to have an excuse unless issued on Election Day. 

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How Do I Receive a Vote-by-Mail Ballot

Vote-by-mail ballots are not automatically mailed. To receive a vote-by-mail ballot a voter must have an active request on file with the Marion County Election Center. Vote-by-mail requests expire after every two general election cycles. To check the status of your mail ballot request you can us at 352-620-3290 or look it up by using our Voter Registration Status Tool.

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Deadline to Request a Vote-by-Mail Ballot

A request for a vote-by-mail ballot to be mailed to a voter must be received by the Marion County Election Center no later than 5 p.m. on the sixth day before the election. If the deadline has passed, the voter or designee still has the option of picking up a vote-by-mail ballot from the Election Center through Election Day. However, all mail ballots are still required to be received by the Election Center no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted. 

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How to Request Vote-by-Mail

Voters can request a vote-by-mail ballot for a specific election or for all elections up through the next two General Elections. Mail ballots cannot be forwarded so please make sure that the Election Center has your current mailing address on file or the specified address you would like to receive your mail ballot.

Marion County voters can request vote-by-mail by any of the following ways: 

  1. Online: Online Vote-by-Mail Ballot Application 
  2. By phone: 352-620-3290
  3. In person: Marion County Election Center, 981 NE 16th Street, Ocala, FL 34470
  4. In writing:
    Email: VoteByMail@VoteMarion.com
    Fax: 352-620-3286
    Mail: PO Box 289, Ocala, FL 34478-0289

Military and Overseas Voters can request vote-by-mail by submitting an Online Vote-by-Mail Ballot Application or by submitting a completed Federal Post Card Application. Learn more on our Military/Overseas Voters page. 


If you are making the request, the following information is required:

  • Your name;
  • Your address;
  • Your date of birth; and
  • Your signature (if the request is written).

If an immediate family member or legal guardian is requesting a vote-by-mail ballot for you, the following additional information must be provided:

  • The requestor’s address;
  • The requestor’s driver’s license number (if available);
  • The requestor’s relationship to the voter; and
  • The requestor’s signature (if the request is written).

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When Will I Receive my Vote-by-Mail Ballot 

Voters with pre-existing vote-by-mail requests on file for an upcoming election can expect mail ballots to be mailed:

UOCAVA (Military/Overseas) voters: No later than 45 days before the election. Ballots will be sent by forwardable mail, fax, or email as specified by the voter in the request.
Domestic (Local/Stateside) voters: Between the 35th and 28th day before the election. Ballots are non-forwardable. 

Vote-by-mail ballots will continue to be mailed up until four days before the election and will be sent daily as new requests are received by the Marion County Election Center. 

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Who Can Pick Up a Vote-by-Mail Ballot

A voter can pick up his or her own vote-by-mail ballot or may designate in writing another person to pick up their ballot five days prior to Election Day.  The designee may only pick up two ballots per election, not including his or her own ballot or immediate family members.  The designee must provide photo identification, written authorization from the voter, and a completed Affidavit to Pick-Up Vote-by-Mail Ballot for a Voter. If the ballot is picked up on Election Day, the Election Day Vote-by-Mail Ballot Delivery Affidavit must also be completed by the voter or designee to affirm that he or she has an emergency keeping them from being able to vote at his or her assigned voting location. 

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How to Vote a Vote-by-Mail Ballot

All vote-by-mail packets contain voting instructions to ensure your ballot is counted along with a ballot, secrecy folder, and pre-addressed return envelope(Voter's Certificate).

If you misplaced or made a mistake on your mail ballot, call 352-620-3290 to request a replacement ballot be sent to you. A voter may receive up to three vote-by-mail ballots, but whichever one is received by our office first will be the one that is counted.  After the Election Center has received a vote-by-mail ballot, no changes may be made. 

Important: To be counted, the voter must sign the return envelope that's provided and the voter's signature must match the one they have on file with our office.The voter must personally vote the ballot and sign the return envelope.  A Power of Attorney cannot sign for the voter.  To change or update your signature or identifying mark, you must submit a Florida Voter Registration Application which can be completed online, in person or by mail.

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How to Correct a Missing Signature on a Vote-by-Mail Ballot

If you returned your vote-by-mail ballot but forgot to sign the envelope, your ballot will not count unless you:   

1. Complete and return the Marion County Mail Ballot Signature Affidavit and Instructions (DS-DE 139) 

AND 

2.Provide a copy of your identification no later than 5 pm on the day before the election.  Acceptable forms of identification are listed on the affidavit.

Please follow the instructions on the form carefully.  Failure to follow these instructions may cause your ballot not to count.

Return your completed affidavit and copy of your Identification to:

Marion County Election Center
Mailing Address: PO Box 289 Ocala, FL 34478-0289

Physical Address: 981 NE 16th St, Ocala, FL 34470
Email: VoteByMail@VoteMarion.com
Fax: 352-620-3286

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How to Correct a Signature Mismatch on a Vote-by-Mail Ballot

For a vote-by-mail ballot to be counted, the voter's signature provided on the return envelope must match the voter's signature on file. Over time our signatures begin to change and those with physical disabilities or affected by a disease may have difficulty maintaining a consistent signature. Voters will be notified if the signature on their vote-by-mail ballot and voter record don't match and will be provided the opportunity to cure their ballot no later than 5 p.m. on the day before the election.

If the signature on your vote-by-mail ballot did not match the signature on your voter record, your ballot will not count unless you:   

1. Complete and return the Marion County Mail Ballot Cure Signature Affidavit and Instructions 

AND 

2.Provide a copy of your identification no later than 5 pm on the day before the election.  Acceptable forms of identification are listed on the affidavit.

Please follow the instructions on the form carefully.  Failure to follow these instructions may cause your ballot not to count.

Return your completed affidavit and copy of your Identification to:

Marion County Election Center
Mailing Address: PO Box 289 Ocala, FL 34478-0289

Physical Address: 981 NE 16th St, Ocala, FL 34470
Email: VoteByMail@VoteMarion.com
Fax: 352-620-3286

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How to Return your Vote-by-Mail Ballot

Voted vote-by-mail ballots must be received by the Marion County Election Center no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted. Military/Overseas Voters have 10 additional days in a Primary and General Election.

The Postal Service recommends that voters mail ballots one week before the due date to account for any unforeseen events or weather issues and to allow for timely receipt and processing by election officials.You can return your voted vote-by-mail ballot one of the following ways:  

  • By Mail: PO Box 308, Ocala, FL
  • Drop Box: Election Center, 981 NE 16th Street, Ocala FL 34470

Drop Box located outside the Election Center - Open 24/7

Drop Box located inside the Election Center - Open during business hours only

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How to Cancel your Vote-by-Mail Ballot

If you change your mind and decide you want to vote early or on election day, bring the mail ballot with you to surrender to an election worker so that it will be canceled and permit you to cast a ballot in person. If you misplaced your mail ballot or did not bring it with you to the polls, the election worker will verify that it has not already been received by the Election Center prior to issuing you a voting pass.

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How to Track your Vote-by-Mail Ballot

Any voter who requests a vote-by-mail ballot can track his or her Mail Ballot Status to check current and future vote-by-mail requests and see when the ballot was sent and received by our office. Using the online tool, type in the voter's information and scroll down to the current or past elections and click "Show My Mail Ballot Information." 

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981 NE 16th Street . Ocala, FL 34470
PO Box 289 . Ocala, FL 34478-0289


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PHONE: 352-620-3290
FAX: 352-620-3286
EMAIL: elections@VoteMarion.com
HOURS: M-F 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Under Florida law, F.S. 668.6076, e-mail addresses are public records. If you do not want your e-mail address released in response to a public records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by phone or in writing.