This week the City of Gainesville mailed more than 20,000 mail-in ballots for next month's regular election.
The ballots went to Gainesville residents who signed up to receive them. The pink envelopes should arrive no later than Feb. 25, the city said in a press release.
"Any voter who does not receive their vote-by-mail ballot by February 25 should contact the elections office at 352-374-5252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org," the press release said.
Two candidates have qualified for the two races on the ballot. Incumbent Gigi Simmons and challenger Desmon Duncan-Walker will face off for the District 1 seat, while incumbent Gail Johnson will take on challenger Gabe Kaimowitz (also known as Gabriel Hillel) for an at-large seat.
Residents who want to vote by mail can still request a ballot. The deadline is 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 6. For the next two weeks the city will fulfill requests as they are received.
The office of Supervisor of Elections Kim Barton must receive completed vote-by-mail ballots by 7 p.m. on March 16 (Election Day). To meet the deadline, the city suggests voters mail their completed ballots by March 9 to ensure receipt.
Barton offered the following advice for those voting by mail:
- Completely color in the oval next to your choice on your ballot—do not circle or mark an “X” over the oval.
- If you make a mistake on your ballot, call the Supervisor of Elections at 352-374-5252.
- Be sure to sign your own mail ballot certificate envelope.
- Return your mail ballot in the official envelope provided. Return postage is prepaid.
If a ballot arrives unsigned, or if the signature does not match the signature in the voter record, supervisor of elections office will contact the voter and attempt to correct the ballot. The deadline for affidavits correcting mail-in ballots is March 18.
Voters can drop off completed vote-by-mail ballots at the supervisor of elections office, located in Gainesville at 515 N. Main St., during normal business hours or use the secure after-hours drop-box located outside of the main entrance.