Published On: Tue, Sep 15th, 2020

Don’t Look Now the General Election is Fast Approaching!

By: Robert S Weinroth

It’s hard to believe we are fast approaching the end of 2020. With the worst of the pandemic, presumably, behind us, our attention over the next weeks will focus on the 2020 General Election. Hopefully you have registered to vote if you are eligible. 

Monday, October 5th is the last day to register. There is also still time to request a Vote-by-Mail ballot if you are not comfortable with the idea of casting your ballot, in person. 

The first Vote-by-Mail ballots for the General Election will be mailed out on September 24th. If you requested a Vote-by-Mail ballot, you should receive it at the end of September or beginning of October. 

The deadline to request that a Vote-by-Mail ballot be mailed to you for the General Election is October 24th. However, if you miss the deadline, you can visit the Supervisor of Elections office to secure your Vote-by-Mail ballot, in person.

The Supervisor of Elections must RECEIVE your Vote-by-Mail ballot by 7PM on Tuesday, November 3rd. Given the operational issues that have plagued the US Post Office in recent months, it would be prudent to mail your Vote-by-Mail ballot as soon as possible to avoid the possibility of its delay. 

To verify the Supervisor of Elections has received the Vote-by-Mail ballot, go to PBCElections.org. If your household receives multiple Vote-by-Mail ballots please ensure the ballots are placed in the correct business reply envelopes.

The Board of County Commissioners provided the funds necessary to pay the return postage for the Vote-by-Mail ballots so there’s no need to find the necessary stamps to mail your ballot. DO NOT COMBINE BALLOTS INTO A SINGLE ENVELOPE!

Also, when signing your ballot please be careful to sign the proper envelope and if your signature does not match the signature on your driver’s license you need to update your record with the Supervisor of Elections to avoid an issue if the signatures do not match.

Has it been a while since you’ve updated your signature?

To update your signature, download and print a voter registration application form, check the “Record Update/Change” box, complete box 1-7, and sign box 12 with your updated signature, and return the updated application form to the Supervisor of Elections.

Finally, please remember Vote-by-Mail ballots cannot be forwarded

Early Voting will begin on Monday, October 19th and end on Sunday, November 1st.

For a complete list of the Early Voting locations, go to PBCElections.org. As a result of the pandemic, all of the Early Voting locations used for the August Primary may not be available for the General Election.

Registered voters residing in Palm Beach County can go to ANY Early Voting location.  

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd and the polls will be open from 7AM until 7PM. You may want to bring along a pen to complete your ballot on Election Day or during Early Voting. If you requested a Vote-by-Mail ballot and decide to go to Early Voting or to vote on Election Day, bring your Vote-by-Mail ballot to the polling place to be cancelled. This will make it easier for the poll workers to allow you to vote, in person. Without the Vote-by-Mail ballot you will still be allowed to vote but it may take a few minutes to verify the Vote-by-Mail ballot was not already received or you may be offered a Provisional Ballot which will require additional vetting by the canvasing board before it can be tallied.

The General Election ballot will list the candidates for the President of the United States and the winning candidates from the August Primary Election. During this election, voters will have the opportunity to vote for a candidate regardless of their party affiliation. 

In addition to the candidates vying for your vote, there will be four citizen initiatives to, potentially, amend the Florida Constitution on the ballot.  

Amendment 1 would state only citizens could vote in Florida; Amendment 2 would raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2026; Amendment 3 would establish top-two open primaries; and Amendment 4 would require constitutional amendments to be passed twice.

Not to be left out, the Florida Legislature referred two constitutional amendments concerning property taxes to the ballot. Amendment 5 would increase the period during which a person may transfer “Save Our Homes” benefits to a new homestead property from two years to three years and Amendment 6 would allow a homestead property tax discount to be transferred to the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran.

If an initiative receives 60 percent of the votes cast it will become part of the Florida Constitution. If Amendment 4 passes then all future proposed amendments would need to receive 60 percent of the votes cast in two successive elections!

Palm Beach County has almost 1 million registered voters. Every vote counts! We have seen repeated examples of contests where the margin of victory has been paper-thin. Don’t leave the decision to your neighbor – take the time to review the candidates and issues on the ballot to make an informed decision. Our democracy depends on it!

About the Author

- Robert Weinroth is a 27 year resident of Boca Raton where he is an attorney, businessman, former member of the City Council (where he served for four years) and currently serves as an elected member of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Weinroth went to Boston’s Northeastern University where he earned a BSBA in Management. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor at New England School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the Supreme Court of the United States. Weinroth served as president and general counsel of Freedom Medical Services Inc, an accredited medical supply company in Boca Raton. FREEDOMED® represented the realization of an entrepreneurial dream. Weinroth, and his wife Pamela operated the company for 16 years, eventually selling the business in 2016. Weinroth takes great pride in his past work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the 15th Judicial Circuit, advocating for the needs of abused and neglected children deemed dependent by the Court. After serving on multiple community boards and committees, Weinroth was elected to the Boca Raton City Council in 2014. During his tenure, he served as CRA Vice-chair and Deputy Mayor and was appointed to a number of county boards including the Boca Raton Airport Authority, the Palm Tran Service Board, the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, the Treasure Coast Planning Council and was elected a board member of the Palm Beach County League of Cities. Commissioner Weinroth serves as County Vice-Mayor and has been appointed Chair of the Solid Waste Authority, a board member of the PBC Transportation Planning Agency, and alternate representative on the Treasure Coast Planning Agency and several other county and regional boards. Robert, Pamela and their two dogs, Sierra and Siggy, are proud to call Boca Raton home.

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