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How to Vote in Florida's 2020 Election: What You Need to Know

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  En Espanol | Vietnamese| Korean | Chinese | Florida overhauled its voting system after the 2000 presidential election recount debacle, so it's ahead of many other states in offering alternatives to traditional in-person voting:

  • Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3, and polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Your local supervisor of elections has more information about where to cast your ballot. Your polling place may be different this year, so check before you leave.
  • Be prepared for potentially long lines, and remember to take your mask and to follow social distancing measures at the polls.
  • A photo ID, such as a driver's license, is required. Be sure to bring an acceptable form of ID to the polls.
  • With Election Day only days away, consider dropping off your completed mail-in ballot in person. The office of your local supervisor of elections has more information about where to take your ballot.
A man walks out of an absentee voting station

Here's what else you need to know:

How do I register to vote?
You can register online through the Florida secretary of state's website; if you prefer, you can go to that site to download a registration application to mail in. Or pick one up at any county supervisor of elections office or local library, or at a business that's authorized to issue fishing, hunting or trapping permits. You can also register in person at driver's license offices, tax collector's offices, or state government offices that qualify as voter registration agencies. You must register by Oct. 5 to vote in the Nov. 3 election.

How can I get a mail-in ballot? Are there important deadlines?
Request a ballot through your county supervisor of elections website, or contact the office in writing, in person or by phone. Immediate family members or guardians can request a ballot for someone else. A voter’s signature is required and must match the signature on file. Mail-in ballots must be requested by Oct. 24 and received by the local supervisor of elections by 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3. Only some election offices pay for postage.

How do I know that my mail-in ballot is secure?
Registered voters must request a ballot. They must sign the ballot before returning it, and the signature must match what’s on file with the local election office. Election offices track ballots as they are received, to prevent anyone from voting twice. Voters who want someone else to deliver their ballot must authorize it in writing, and a person can deliver only two other ballots besides his or her own and those of immediate family members. Florida joined a consortium of other states that allows members to verify if someone is registered in more than one state.

When is Election Day? When are the polls open?
Tuesday, Nov. 3. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Can I vote before Election Day?
Early in-person starts as many as 15 days before Election Day, on Oct. 19, though the number of days and locations vary by county. Find early voting locations on your local supervisor of elections website, or call the office.

What form of identification do I need to vote?
A photo ID is required. The ID can be a driver’s license, passport or myriad others.

What is being done to make polling places safe from the coronavirus?
Precautions vary by county, but polling sites generally will have hand sanitizer, physical barriers separating voters from one another and from poll workers, and masks for poll workers. Many Florida cities and counties require face masks to be worn in indoor public places.

Will I be able to vote in the same place as I always have?
For the most part, yes, but some polling locations will not be open because of the coronavirus. You should be notified if your site has changed, but also check with your local supervisor of elections.

What are the key races in my state?

  • U.S. President
  • U.S. House: All 27 seats
  • All 120 seats in the state House of Representatives and 21 state Senate seats
  • Six amendments to the state constitution

This guide was updated on Nov. 2 with more information about voting in person. Voting rules and procedures may change before Election Day. We’ll update this story if they do, so bookmark this and check back.


AARP is urging older Americans to ask the candidates 5 key questions:

  • Just over half of all older Social Security beneficiaries rely on the program for at least 50 percent of their income. If elected, how will you ensure that current and future Social Security benefits are not cut as part of deficit reduction?
  • Half of the people with traditional Medicare spend at least a sixth of their income on health care. If elected, how will you protect Medicare from benefit cuts, as well as lower health care costs and ensure seniors continue receiving the affordable health care they have earned?
  • COVID-19 has caused death and suffering for too many older Americans who require long-term care. If elected, how will you make sure seniors can access safe and affordable long-term care at home, as well as in facilities like nursing homes and assisted living?

Also of Interest

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