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YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE AT THE BALLOT BOX

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This guide is designed to help you protect your right to vote. Keep it handy, and take it with you to the polls during Early Voting or on Election Day.

Voting in Florida

What if I'm a student?

You can register to vote at whatever address you consider your primary residence. This can be your school address or your home address. You can register to vote using your school address even if you don’t change your permanent address. See below for information about how to change your address for voting purposes. 

What if I'm homeless?

You don’t need a home to register to vote. On your registration form, you can use the address for a place of residence or a “home-base” where you can regularly be reached. This can be a street corner, a park, a shelter, or any other place where you usually stay.

What if I've moved?

You should notify your Supervisor of Elections every time you change your address. Call your Supervisor of Elections to find out whether you can do this by phone, email, fax, mail, in person and/or online.

If you moved within the same county but didn’t tell the Supervisor of Elections, you can vote at the polling place for your new address after signing a form affirming your new address.

If you moved to a new county in Florida and didn’t tell the Supervisor of Elections, you can vote at the polling place for your new address, but you will be required to vote by provisional ballot, not a regular ballot. 

What if I've changed my name?

You have to notify your Supervisor of Elections or other voter registration official every time you change your name. You can do this using a voter registration application or another written notice that has your signature and birth date or voter registration number.

If you changed your name but didn’t tell the Supervisor of Elections, you can vote after filling out a name change form at your polling place.

Ballots and Polling Locations

When are the polls open?

Polling places will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. You have the right to vote if you’re in line or inside your polling place when the polls close.

Can I get time off from work to vote?

The law doesn’t require employers to give their employees paid or unpaid time off from work to vote, but your employer may allow you to do so. Ask your employer well before Election Day.

Where do I vote?

On Election Day, you have to vote at your assigned polling place. (Note: Florida law requires that the entire ballot be discarded if it is cast in the wrong precinct.)

Your assigned polling place will be listed on the voter registration card that you receive in the mail after you register. If you don’t have your card, call your Supervisor of Elections or look up your polling place online at https://registration.elections.myflorida.com/CheckVoterStatus .

If you vote early, you can go to any Early Voting site within your county.

What if I am disabled and my polling place is not accessible?

State and federal laws require all polling places to be accessible and usable by people with disabilities. If you find out before Election Day that your polling place is inaccessible, notify your Supervisor of Elections and ask for an accommodation.

Can I get my ballot in my native language?

Spanish assistance is available through the statewide voter assistance and voter hotlines. Broward, DeSoto, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami-Dade, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, and Seminole counties are required by law to provide language assistance in Spanish. On Election Day, poll workers in these counties should offer this assistance to you. If they don’t, tell a poll worker that you want assistance. You have a right to receive all ballots and any other election materials in Spanish.

Other counties provide assistance in languages other than English, even if they’re not required by law to do so. Contact your Supervisor of Elections before Election Day to find out what’s available in your area.

If language assistance isn’t provided where you vote, you have the right to bring a translator with you to the polls. You have a right to get help in your language from anyone you choose, including a poll worker (your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your labor union are prohibited from providing assistance).

What if I need help in the voting booth?

If you need help because of a physical disability or because you can’t read the ballot, tell a poll worker when you get to your polling place. You have the right to vote on an accessible voting machine. You also have the right to have anyone you choose assist you in the voting booth, including a poll worker (your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your labor union are prohibited from providing assistance).

If you need instructions on how to use the voting equipment, ask a poll worker for help. Poll workers are required to help you at any time you ask—even after you have entered the voting booth.

VOTER ID

Do I have to show ID?

Yes. State law requires all voters to show a photo ID before receiving a ballot.

What are the accepted forms of ID?

Accepted forms of ID are:

  • FL driver’s license

  • FL identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

  • United States passport

  • Debit or credit card

  • Military identification

  • Student identification

  • Retirement center identification

  • Neighborhood association identification

  • Public assistance identification

  • Veteran health identification card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs

  • License to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued pursuant to s. 790.06

  • Employee identification card issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the Federal Government, the state, a county, or a municipality.

If the ID you provide doesn’t include your signature, you’ll have to show an additional form of ID (which doesn’t have to include your photo) with your signature on it. You will be required to sign your name on the precinct register or on an electronic device so that the two signatures can be matched. If your signature has changed, you can update your signature by submitting a voter registration application to your Supervisor of Elections by October 19, 2018.

What if I don't have any ID?

You will have to cast a provisional ballot. For that ballot to count, election officials have to confirm that you were eligible to vote. If you have time and have ID at home or work, it’s usually better to get your ID and return to the polls to cast a regular ballot.

PROBLEMS AT THE POLLS

What if I'm not on the voter list?

First, ask a poll worker to check the list again and to make sure you’re at the right polling place.

If you’re at the right polling place but your name isn’t on the voter list, you have the right to cast a provisional ballot – but you should use a provisional ballot only if there’s no way for you to vote on a regular ballot. Your provisional ballot will count only if you voted in your assigned polling place.

What if I go to the wrong polling place?

You can ask a poll worker to help you find the polling place where you’re registered. Remember, your entire ballot will be discarded if you cast it in the wrong precinct. You can also call your Supervisor of Elections.

If you can’t figure out where you’re registered, go the polling place that you think is most likely to be the right one and ask to cast a regular ballot.

What is a provisional ballot?

A provisional ballot is used to record your vote when the election official isn’t sure if you’re eligible or if you didn’t bring the required identification.

You should use a provisional ballot only if there’s no way for you to vote on a regular ballot. Your provisional ballot will be counted only if election officials determine that you were eligible to vote and only if you voted in your assigned polling place.

If you do use a provisional ballot, to ensure that your vote will be counted, you should show written evidence of your eligibility to vote to your Supervisor of Elections by 5:00 p.m. on November 8.

You can contact your Supervisor of Elections within 30 days to learn whether your provisional ballot was counted.

What if someone challenges my right to vote?

People who believe you’re trying to vote illegally can challenge your right to vote. If this happens, insist on your right to vote a regular ballot and ask for a copy of the challenge. If an election official says you cannot vote a regular ballot, you have the right to cast a provisional ballot. Your ballot will count only if election officials determine after the election that you were eligible to vote and that you voted at the right polling place.

If you are challenged because the challenger believes that you do not live in the precinct where you registered to vote, you may still be able to vote using a regular ballot. You’ll have to sign a written affirmation that you have moved to a different precinct within the same county.

What if someone tries to intimidate or harass me?

Tell a poll worker right away. If the poll worker is the problem, report that to the supervisor of the voting precinct. If the problem is not resolved, tell a poll watcher or call your Supervisor of Elections, or call one of the election hotline numbers listed at the end of this pamphlet.

What if I make a mistake on my ballot or the voting machine malfunctions?

Tell a poll worker before you cast your ballot. If you spoil a ballot, you have the right to receive up to two additional replacement ballots. If your voting machine malfunctions, you can request a different machine.

How do I make a complaint?

First, ask for an election inspector at your polling place. He or she can handle most complaints that arise on Election Day. Candidates, political parties, and nonprofit groups may also have poll watchers at your polling place who might be able to assist you. If any of those people ask you who you voted for, or if they can’t resolve your complaint, call your Supervisor of Elections.

You can also call one of the election hotline numbers listed at the end of this pamphlet or file a complaint form that is available at: http://election.dos.state.fl.us/voting/index.shtml.

MORE INFORMATION

For help or to find the phone number for your:

  • Supervisor of Elections, call (866) 308-6739 or go to http://election.dos.state.fl.us

  • Florida Division of Elections Voter Fraud Hotline: (877) 868-3737

  • Election Protection: 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) [SL1]

  • U.S. Department of Justice: (800) 253-3931