Collier County mailing first absentee ballots this week for general election

The Collier County Supervisor of Elections office will send its first mailing of about 38,000 absentee ballots Tuesday for the Nov. 6 general election.

Every registered voter is encouraged to take advantage of voting by mail or absentee.

Each valid absentee ballot will be counted. Voters may submit requests online via the CollierVotes.com "Vote by Mail" web page. Requests can also be made by phone to the Supervisor of Elections office at (239) 252-8450. By law, absentee ballots are not forwarded and can only be delivered to the address provided to the Supervisor of Elections office.

"Absentee ballots signal the start of actual voting for each election," said Jennifer J. Edwards, Collier County Supervisor of Elections. "Many voters don't realize that every valid absentee ballot is counted, and in fact absentee ballot votes are among the first results released on Election Day."

The deadline for voters to request a General Election absentee ballot to be delivered by mail is Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. After that date, voters can pick up their absentee ballots at the Supervisor of Elections office after calling in their request.

Voted absentee ballots must be returned to the Collier County Supervisor of Elections office by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 6. Ballots can be dropped off at the main office at the Government Center in East Naples or at the Orange Blossom branch in North Naples, or mailed back in the official ballot envelope provided. As the ballot consists of three printed sheets, the extra weight requires postage of 65 cents. The voter's signature is required on the outside of the ballot return envelope.

Voters who receive an absentee ballot and decide to vote in person during early voting or at their assigned precinct on Election Day, should bring their marked or unmarked absentee ballot to the polls, so it can be cancelled.

For additional absentee voting requirements, visit the CollierVotes.com "Mail/Absentee" information page. Citizens who are not yet registered to vote must do so before Oct. 9 in order to participate in the general election. For more details, and to update your voter information, go to www.CollierVotes.com or call the Supervisor of Elections office at 239-252-8450.

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