ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Pinellas and Hillsborough counties are pushing the option of vote-by-mail this year because of the Coronavirus. 

What You Need To Know

Both offices have sent mail ballot request forms to registered voters even though President Donald Trump claims mail-in-voting will lead to voter fraud.

But numerous Elections Supervisors have said there’s a strict security system in place to make sure ballots aren’t tampered with in any way and all votes are counted accurately. 

“There’s a tremendous amount of security in that ballot," said Craig Latimer, Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections. "And the manner of timing marks, and if you don't have the proper timing marks it's not going to go through any machines or be accepted in any way. I think it's really ridiculous, there's no way for you to legitimately copy my ballot and print thousands of them. It’s not going to work."

Supervisors of Elections in both counties stress the security of the vote by mail process. They said they’re also expecting a lot more people to choose this option given the unprecedented pandemic. 

Latimer explained the process. He said you can track your ballot as it makes its way to your house and back to the elections office via text. All postage is paid for, or you can hand deliver it yourself. Elections offices are adding drop off locations this year. 

Once it arrives, your ballot goes through an intense screening process to make sure it’s valid and legit. 

“Pinellas County is ready to go," said Julie Marcus, Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections. "Pinellas County has enough scanners, we are going to be prepared to make sure that the requests, the ballots requested, go out timely and we also have enough time to process those mail ballots and make sure that we get those totals in and certified before the deadlines."

In both Pinellas and Hillsborough, the supervisors stressed the importance of getting your ballot in sooner rather than later.