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Contact: Mark Ard
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PRESS RELEASE: Florida Secretary of State Issues Emergency Order for Special Elections in Sanibel and Estero to Ensure Access for Voters Affected by Hurricane Ian

Tallahassee, Fla. –

To ensure voters impacted by Hurricane Ian have the ability to participate in upcoming elections for the Village of Estero and the City of Sanibel, Secretary of State Cord Byrd issued Emergency Order 23-01, waiving certain provisions of the Florida Election Code including:

  • Allowing vote-by-mail ballots to be sent by forwardable mail to ensure voters who have relocated will receive their ballots; and
  • Allowing the Lee County Supervisor of Elections to accept a request for a vote-by-mail-ballot to be mailed to an address other than the elector’s address on file.

The elections in Estero and Sanibel are scheduled to occur in March 2023, and these provisions shall remain in effect until March 20, 2023.

“Displaced residents of Lee County Florida have experienced long-term effects as a result of Hurricane Ian,” said Secretary of State Cord Byrd. “In an effort to help the voters in Lee County, the Department of State wants to ensure that we make the necessary accommodations to give voters who have been displaced an adequate opportunity to cast their ballot.” 

Even though the rebuilding process has been advancing, there are many residents still displaced.  Lee County Supervisor of Elections, Tommy Doyle anticipates continuing challenges and hardships on behalf of the area’s displaced electors.  This Executive Order gives Lee County Supervisor of Elections a waiver from certain provisions of the Florida Election Code.

To read the full emergency order, click here.

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Division of Elections

The Florida Department of State’s Division of Elections supports the Secretary of State, Florida’s chief election officer, in ensuring that Florida has fair and accurate elections. The Division’s program administration and three bureaus: Bureau of Election Records, Bureau of Voter Registration Services, and Bureau of Voting Systems Certification, have several responsibilities in the areas of legal compliance and elections administration to ensure that Florida’s election laws are uniformly interpreted and implemented. The Division also assists local Supervisors of Elections in their duties and promotes enhanced public awareness and participation in the electoral process. For more information about Florida’s elections, visit