5 Takeaways: Wesley Wilcox


Wesley WilcoxWesley Wilcox’s presentation, “The key to staying transparent with the public during an election”

  1.  Marion Countians cast 205,540 ballots in the Nov. 3, 2020, general election – 25% in-person on Election Day, 36% by mail and 39% at early voting sites. Historically, about 40% of people vote on Election Day, but this year, a historic number of ballots were cast at early voting sites, averaging about 6,000 a day.
  2. Marion County was one of the first counties in Florida to use ballottrax – a system that texts voters real-time updates about their vote-by-mail ballot from the time it was requested until it is counted. The majority of users were 65 or older. Wilcox himself voted by mail as shown in this day in the life of a ballot video.
  3. Biggest myth: Thinking voting by mail is not counted or only counted if needed, or thinking mail carriers throw out ballots. Florida has robust election laws that include ballot tracking and signature verification processes as well as strict deadlines for registering to vote, requesting a vote-by-mail ballot and receiving the ballot to be counted. “For most people, I have 5 to 15 signatures on file,” Wilcox said. “We also use a software algorithm to match signatures.” Out of the 74,000 vote-by-mail ballots cast, about 200 were rejected, and of those, the majority didn’t have a signature on the back of the envelope.
  4. Allegations of voter fraud occur during every election, but cases are few and mostly misinformation.
  5. On the historic 2020 election: “I knew it was going to be hard; it’s hard in normal times,” Wilcox said. To get through it: “Behave like a duck. Be calm on the surface, and paddle like crazy under the water.”

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