The following FL 2018 statute detail seems puzzling:

3. A vote-by-mail ballot is not considered illegal if the signature of the elector does not cross the seal of the mailing envelope.

Does this mean that a ballot is illegal if the signature does cross the seal of the mailing envelope? Why even have such a rule?

1 Answer 1


This is a clarification of a regulation that may have been misunderstood in the past.

If the signature matches that held on file then the vote can be counted, whether the signature crosses the seal of the envelope or not.

Florida does require mailed votes to be signed by the voter. The signature is put on the envelope. And the envelope is printed in such a way that it is possible and common for people to sign over the seal (which also adds a degree of security, making it harder for a person to modify the vote after it has been sealed)

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Because of this, the supervisor of elections in individual counties may have thought that the signature must cross the seal. But this is not the case. The clause clarifies this fact. If the signature matches then the envelope should be opened and processed whether or not the signature crosses the seal.

In logic from P ⇒ Q it does not follow that ¬P ⇒ ¬Q, nor Q ⇒ P (but (P ⇒ Q) is equivalant to (¬Q ⇒ ¬P))

  • 2
    Re "it does not follow that ¬P ⇒ ¬Q": True. The logic was clear enough -- I vaguely remember that particular error having at least one specific name. However the doubt was that legal logic is not always formal logic, with the added complication that such laws aren't immune to administrative confusion and reinterpretation.
    – agc
    Nov 4, 2018 at 20:49
  • 1
    It is the error of "Affirming the consequent", or perhaps "Denying the Antecedent"
    – James K
    Nov 4, 2018 at 22:03

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