Voters throughout Florida have already started casting ballots in the November election, and in record numbers. Voter enthusiasm is through the roof.
Many Florida voters are voting in new ways — they may have requested a vote-by-mail ballot for the first time, or they may be voting early in-person in order to get their vote in before November 3rd.
That’s given rise to a lot of questions about voting rules and voters’ rights, so today we’ll be answering a few of the most frequently asked questions we receive.
Q: Where can I vote?
A: You can find your polling place here, on your voter information card, or on the Find My Precinct/Where Do I Vote tool on your Supervisor of Elections’ website — but remember, your Election Day voting site might not be the same as your Early Vote site. If you accidentally go to the wrong precinct polling place on Election Day, a poll worker must assist you in finding your correct precinct.
If you’ve recently moved, you must vote in the precinct that serves your new address. You can update your address before you go to vote (by calling the Supervisor of Elections’ office) or when you arrive at your new polling place.
Q: Can I vote in-person if I requested a vote-by-mail ballot already?
A: Yes, you can. If you bring your vote-by-mail ballot to the polling place and surrender it (or if you don’t surrender it, but the poll worker can determine that the Supervisor of Elections’ office didn’t receive your ballot in the mail), you can vote using a regular ballot. If the poll worker can’t determine whether the Supervisor’s office received your ballot, you can vote provisionally.
Q: What form of ID do I need to vote?
A: There are several types of valid ID you can use to vote in Florida, like a driver license, a state, military, or student ID, a passport, a debit or credit card, and more! For the full list, you can click here.
If your photo ID doesn’t include a signature, you’ll have to produce additional identification that bears your signature. And, if the signature on your photo ID doesn’t match your signature on the voter rolls, you’ll have to sign an affidavit affirming your identity. Once you do that, you’ll be able to vote using a regular ballot.
Q: What do I do if I need assistance voting?
A: You have the right to assistance in voting due to blindness, disability, limited-English proficiency, or inability to read or write. You can ask poll workers for assistance, but you also have the right to an assistor of your choice (including Election Protection volunteers outside your polling place!) However, your assistor can’t be your employer or union representative.
You have the right to a polling place that is accessible to voters with disabilities. You can read more about your rights here.
Q: What if they can’t find my name on the voter rolls?
A: If the poll worker can’t find your name, make sure they have carefully checked to verify the spelling of your name or use your date of birth. If they still can’t locate it, they should direct you to a clerk at the precinct or call the Supervisor’s office to locate your name on the county or state voter rolls, or direct you to the proper precinct based on your current residence. And, even if they can’t find your name, you still have the right to vote using a provisional ballot.
Q: What does it mean to vote using a provisional ballot?
A: You might have to vote using a provisional ballot if your name isn’t found on the precinct’s voter rolls even though you’re in the correct precinct, or if a poll worker concludes you can’t vote by regular ballot. You have the right to present written evidence of your eligibility to vote to your Supervisor of Elections’ office no later than 5:00 pm on the Thursday after the election.
Q: What happens if I am “challenged” at the polling place?
A: If your eligibility to vote is “challenged” on the basis that you don’t live in the precinct, you have the right to update your residential address at the polls and, if you’re in the correct precinct, vote by regular ballot. If your eligibility is challenged for another reason, you’ll have to vote using a provisional ballot. It is illegal for a poll watcher to “challenge” you because of your race, religion, or national origin.Image Credits: Charlotte County Democrats