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This is how you know you’re at an official ballot drop box in Florida

Election officials say you should be able to trust whoever you let take your vote-by-mail ballot.

TAMPA, Fla. — You’ve decided who you want to vote for, filled out your vote-by-mail ballot and now you’re ready to return it.

You can mail it back to your Supervisor of Elections or you can drop it off in person. In Florida, the law outlines where secure drop boxes may be placed. All ballot drop boxes must be staffed or monitored.

  • The main office of the supervisor
  • Each branch office of the supervisor
  • Each early voting site

Early voting will start Monday, Oct. 19, in most counties across Tampa Bay, but election officials are already taking ballots in person at their offices.

Hillsborough County is offering curbside drive-up and drop-off at all four Supervisor of Elections offices.  Election workers are right next to the box watching and helping. 

There is also a 24-hour secure drop slot next to the front door of the Election Service Center on Falkenburg Road. 

Additionally, Florida law makes it a crime for people to collect more than two vote-by-mail ballots for any benefit or to deceive voters trying to cast their ballots.

“I would use caution in that if you’re a voter, why would you just give it to someone who says, 'Here, drop it in this box next to a gas station or a Walmart,' or comes to your house. I would be very, very concerned giving it to a complete stranger particularly when you can just drop it in the mail,”  Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley said.

It’s OK to drop off a signed return envelope with the ballot inside on behalf of someone else. You don’t have to sign anything. Election officials say you're letting someone take your ballot, you should trust them.

If you see any potential case of elections fraud or are concerned, you can report it to the Department of State. Florida’s "Voter Fraud Hotline" is in both English and Spanish: that number is 1-877-868-3737.

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