December 20, 2021 6:00am

Broward Leaders Voice Overwhelming Concern that Turtle-Paced Mail Delivery Rates Could Affect Elections

16th Fort Lauderdale Power Poll Results Indicate Strong Support for Changes in FL Law Affecting Mail-in Ballots

Photo of Sallie James
By Sallie James
Fort Lauderdale, FL Correspondent

Concern over the fate of mail-in ballots is a big worry in Florida, as delivery rates by the United States Postal Service get slower and slower. In our 16th Fort Lauderdale Power Poll, we asked Broward leaders if they thought Florida law should be changed to better accommodate the delivery of domestic mail-in ballots, which are not given the same dispensation as those from active military stationed overseas. Those ballots can be counted 10 days after Election Day, if they are postmarked on time.

Our survey takers voiced worry over the fate of mail-in ballots delayed by the USPS and expressed support for a change in the law.

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In our first Power Poll question, we asked Broward leaders if Florida law should be changed so that the same rules that apply to active duty overseas military mail-in ballots should apply to domestic mail-in ballots. Right now, domestic mail-in ballots must arrive by Election Day to be counted, no matter when they were postmarked. Military mail-in ballots can arrive 10 days after Election Day and be counted if they were postmarked by Election Day.

Sixty percent of our survey takers favored a change in Florida law, with 20 percent strongly agreeing and 40 percent agreeing. The remaining 40 percent opposed the idea, with 20 percent strongly disagreeing and 20 percent disagreeing.

In our second Power Poll question, we asked our survey takers if they thought election results would be significantly delayed if mail-in ballots that were postmarked by Election Day were counted within the same 10-day period after an election as overseas military ballots. Sixty percent said "no" and 20 percent said "yes." Another 20 percent were neutral.

In our third Power Poll question, we asked Broward leaders if they were concerned that the 20th Congressional District election in January could be affected by slow USPS delivery times. A review of ballots in the primary election showed that some ballots that had been mailed as many as 13 days before the election failed to arrive in time due to postal service delays. Everyone who answered the survey said they were worried that mail delays could affect the upcoming election, with 80 percent agreeing and 20 percent strongly agreeing.

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