Voting in Florida

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Florida permits no-excuse absentee voting and early voting. Early voting in Florida begins at least 10 days before an election, later than the national average of 21 days before in states that allow early voting. Voters in Florida must present both photo and signature identification at the polls.

For full information about voting in Florida, contact your state election agency.

Registration

Florida uses a closed primary system, meaning voters must register with a party to be able to vote in their primary election.

To vote in Florida, you must be:[1]

  • At least 18 years of age,
  • A citizen of the United States of America, and
  • A legal resident of Florida and of the county where you intend to vote.[2]

—Florida Division of Elections

You may not vote if you are judged mentally incapacitated or are a convicted felon.[1]

When and where

Voters may pick up registration applications at the following locations:[1]

  • Any local Supervisor of Elections' office
  • Any voter registration agency (i.e., office that provides public assistance,, office that serves persons with disabilities, center of independent living, armed forces recruitment office, and public library)
  • Any office that issues driver licenses (some tax collector’s offices issue driver licenses). You may also submit your voter registration information electronically at the same time as you get a new or renewed license. The electronic information will be forwarded to the Supervisor of Elections for processing.
  • The Division of Elections
  • Fishing and hunting license shops[2]

—Florida Division of Elections

The form is also available online to print from the Division of Elections website here.[1]

Registration forms must be filled out at least 29 days prior to the election you wish to vote in. Identification is required to register.

Online registration

See also: Online voter registration in the 50 states

As of March 2015, Florida is one of 30 states that have not implemented full online voter registration.

Voting on Election Day

Voter identification

See also: Voter identification laws by state

Voters are required to present photo and signature identification on Election Day. The following are acceptable forms of identification:[1]

  • Florida driver license,
  • Florida 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, or
  • Public assistance identification.[2]

—Florida Division of Elections

If the voter's photo ID does not display his or her signature, he or she will need to bring a second form of identification that does.

Poll times

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times

In Florida, all polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.[3]

Florida is split between Eastern and Central time zones.

Absentee voting

See also: Absentee voting

Eligibility

All voters are eligible to vote absentee in Florida. There are no special eligibility requirements for voting absentee. An excuse is only required if a voter waits until Election Day to pick up or have delivered the absentee ballot.[4]

Deadlines

To vote absentee, an absentee ballot application must be received by the election office at least six days prior to the election. A returned absentee ballot must then be received by the elections office by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day.[4]

Military and overseas voting

For full details regarding military and overseas voting, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Early voting

See also: Early voting

Florida is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins at least 10 days before an election and ends three days prior to Election Day.[5] The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.

2013 developments

Senator Miguel Diaz de la Portilla (R), who sponsored the 2011 law that reduced the number of early voting days in Florida, authored a bill which would provide increased early voting opportunities.[6]

The proposal was to give counties an extra day for early voting before a general election and allow them to keep polls open for 14 hours. In addition, the bill required all elections supervisors to submit a report three months prior to a general election, outlining preparations for that election.[6]

In addition, Florida's election supervisors asked the legislature for the following changes with respect to early voting:[7]

  • Require that the Legislature comply with the 75-word ballot summary requirement that is required for citizen-led ballot initiatives (Lawmakers exempted themselves from that requirement years ago, and ordered the full text of several amendments to be on the November ballot, a leading contributor to long lines at polling places).
  • Require eight days of early voting in primary and general elections "with the option for supervisors to provide additional days not to exceed 14 days." (In 2011 the legislature reduced the number of early voting days from 14 to 8).
  • Give election supervisors the leeway to select more early voting sites (currently limited to election offices, city halls and libraries).

These changes were added and the bill was passed by the Florida State Legislature and signed by Governor Rick Scott (R).[8]

2012 developments

In 2011, the Republican-controlled legislature cut the number of early voting days from 12 to eight. However, due to a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the counties of Collier, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough, and Monroe would retain their full 12 days of early voting. That is because these counties are covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.[6]

The Justice Department has since agreed with the state's early voting schedule provided that the five counties must offer 96 hours of voting between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. over eight days, the maximum under the law. Both the counties and the state have agreed to the terms, so the case should now be thrown out.[9]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Florida + Voting"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Florida Voting News Feed

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See also

Elections in Florida

External links

References