“Do you have to put your email and phone number on your ballot envelope?” is a question I’ve received a few times recently. The short answer is “no,” but you DO have to sign it and your signature must match what’s on file for your ballot to be counted.
Here’s the backstory as explained in an article from the South Florida Sun Sentinel:
The request for contact information was added by the Legislature and governor last year as part of a wide-ranging law that changed several aspects of the way Florida elections are run…
Lawmakers added the contact information to improve the process for supervisors of elections to contact voters who forget to sign their ballots or whose signatures have changed. Ballots with missing or faulty signatures aren’t counted.
Not including the contact information increases the chances that a voter can’t be reached in a timely manner to fix the ballot, [Broward County Supervisor of Elections Peter] Antonacci said.Florida tells mail voters to put personal information on outside of ballot envelopes, where it can be seen — or taken — by anyone. Sun Sentinel, 2/24/20
“The concern was that so many ballots arrive late in the process and mail is simply too slow to let the voter know their ballot will not count because of a deficiency, like no signature, the wrong address, etc.,” Antonacci said by email. “The hope is that with allowing voters to voluntarily (again, it is not a requirement) get us the most up-to-date contact information, we can reach back out quickly and facilitate making the correction to help ensure that their ballots will indeed count — after all, that is our goal.”
So no, it is not a requirement. The delivery of your ballot will not be affected one way or the other.
But not doing so is “a risk they are taking if their signature doesn’t match and we are unable to reach them in time,” Trish Robertson, Public Relations Officer at the Collier County Supervisor of Elections, writes in an email.
“Voters also have the option to put their ballot in a separate envelope and mail it back to our office if they are concerned,” Robertson adds.
If you can’t be sure that your signature will match, why take the chance?
Whatever you do, make sure your ballot reaches its destination and is actually counted, by monitoring its status either at the Collier County Supervisor of Elections website or the Florida Division of Elections website.