Absentee/Vote By Mail Ballots

*Click here for Absentee/Vote By Mail Ballot Request Form

General Information | Military Information | Additional Information Concerning Absentee/Vote By Mail Ballots


General Information

A voter, the voter's immediate family or legal guardian may request an absentee/vote by mail ballot in person, by mail or by telephone. One request can cover all elections through the next two regularly scheduled general elections.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: ABSENTEE/VOTE BY MAIL BALLOTS CANNOT BE FORWARDED. If you request an absentee/vote by mail ballot to be mailed to an address that is NOT in your voter record, that request must be made in writing and contain all the required information or you may click here to fill out the form. (This DOES NOT apply to military, military dependents, merchant marine, or overseas voters).

If you would like to have an absentee/vote by mail ballot mailed to you, all requests must be received by 5 p.m. on the sixth day before an election. (The Wednesday before a Tuesday election) The person requesting an absentee ballot must disclose:

  • The name of the voter for whom the ballot is requested;
  • The voter’s address;
  • The voter’s date of birth;
  • The requester’s name;
  • The requester’s address;
  • The requester’s driver’s license number, if available;
  • The requester’s relationship to the voter; and,
  • The requester’s signature (written request only).
Marked ballots must be received at the Office of the Supervisor of Elections, 600 301 Boulevard West, Suite 108, Bradenton , not later than 7 p.m. on the day of the election. Do not return your voted absentee ballot to a polling place.

A designee may pick up an absentee/vote by mail ballot for a voter on election day or up to 5 days before election day. A designee may only pick up two absentee/vote by mail ballots per election, other than his or her own ballot or ballots for members of his or her immediate family. Immediate family includes:  spouse, parents, child, grandparents, siblings of the voter or the voter's spouse or the voter's legal guardian.  Designees must have written authorization from the voter, present a picture I.D. and sign an affidavit.

If you have obtained an absentee/vote by mail ballot but are able to vote in your precinct on election day, you must take the absentee/vote by mail ballot with you to the polls, whether or not it has been marked.

Federal portions of general election and presidential preference primary ballots voted by persons outside the U.S. are counted if postmarked no later than election day and received within 10 days of the election.


Early Voting

The 2004 Florida Legislature passed legislation which standardizes early voting throughout the state.  Early voting is defined as "casting a ballot prior to election day at a location designated by the supervisor of elections and depositing the voted ballot in the tabulation system."  Dates, times and locations are advertised prior to an election.


Bradenton, Florida 34205
Phone: (941) 741-3823
Fax: (941) 741-3820
tty: (941) 708-8551


Military Information

Military personnel may apply for voter registration or request absentee ballots with a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) which may be obtained from the Unit Voting Officer. If the FPCA is not available, phone or send a written request to the Supervisor of Elections Office, 600 301 Boulevard West, Suite 108, Bradenton, Florida 34205.

NOTE: Spouses and dependents are considered to be of the same category of absentee voter as military members and generally should follow the same rules. 

U.S. Embassies and Consulates can assist in completing, witnessing, notarizing and mailing FPCA forms, absentee ballots and other election materials. Additional military election information is available from: 

Pentagon, Room 1-B457 Washington, D.C. 20301


Additional Information Concerning Absentee Ballots

Ballot Marking Requirements

The law requires the elector to personally vote the ballot, exclusive of electors who require assistance due to blindness, disability or inability to read or write. 

In order for Absentee ballots to be counted, the Absentee Certificate Envelope has to be completed in FULL to include:

     VOTER'S SIGNATURE (Power of Attorney cannot sign for voter)


Returning your ballot by mail, be sure to put the appropriate amount of postage on your return envelope.

How many absentee ballots can someone pick up?

A person may pick up absentee ballots for no more than two (2) voters in any given election, unless they are immediate family members in which case there is no set limit.  Immediate family includes:  spouse, parents, child, grandparents, siblings of the voter or the voter's spouse or the voter's legal guardian.

What is Permanent Absentee Status?

Any Manatee County registered voter who is unable to get to the polls on a permanent basis can register as a permanent absentee voter. Voters who are listed as permanent absentee voters will automatically be mailed a list of the upcoming elections each year. They simply select the elections for which they want to receive absentee ballots and return this form to our office. These voters will then receive an absentee ballot for every election they selected. To become a permanent absentee voter, contact our office at (941) 741-3823.