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Voting by mail? Here's when the U.S. Postal Service says it should be signed, sealed and sent

After you mail it or drop it off, follow up on it to make sure your vote is counted.

TAMPA, Fla. — We are one week away from Election Day and that means it is a very important deadline if you plan on mailing in your ballot.

The U.S. Postal Service recommends on its website that as a "common-sense measure" you should mail your completed ballot at least one week prior to your state's deadline. Florida's deadline is 7 p.m. on Election Day.  

You'll also want to track your mail-in ballot to make sure that it is counted. The sooner you get it mailed in or dropped off, the better. 

So if that mail-in ballot is still sitting on your kitchen counter, or in your home office, you should fill it out, sign it and send it today, just to be safe.

Here are your options for mailing in or dropping off your ballot:

  • Drop it in your mailbox for your mail carrier to pick up.
  • Send it through a private carrier like FedEx or UPS. 
  • Drop it off at your supervisor of elections office
  • Drop it off at a secure box at designated early voting sites.

RELATED: Mail your ballots as early as possible, election officials warn

After you mail it or drop it off, follow up on it to make sure your vote is counted. The biggest reason mail-in ballots are rejected is because of signatures errors. But, you can fix that. Here's how:

  • Keep an eye on mail, emails, texts or voicemails letting you know there's a problem with your ballot.
  • Fill out an affidavit. You will be sent one either in the mail or by email, you can even print one from your Supervisor of Elections office website.
  • Take the affidavit and a photo ID to your Supervisor of Elections office.

That's really why you want to get that ballot out today, so you have time to fix any issues that might come up with your vote. Also, just really important that it arrives by that 7 p.m. Election Day because if it doesn't, there's nothing you can do to make it count.

RELATED: To avoid standing in line, go online -- and find voting spots with shorter lines

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