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Florida’s 20th Congressional District special primary is 1st election with more requirements for voters

Florida Senate Bill 90, which was signed into law in May, increased the requirements for the vote-by-mail system.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – The state legislature made voting more secure by adding new layers of security that are already starting to inconvenience South Florida voters who want a vote-by-mail ballot.

Florida’s 20th Congressional District special primary election is on Nov. 2. Voters in the area will choose the candidates who will run to fill the vacancy left by the late Alcee Hastings. Broward County Supervisor of Elections Joe Scott said early voting kicks off on Saturday.

District 20 residents who want to vote by mail will have to request their ballots and comply with the state’s new identification requirements. This is because Florida Senate Bill 90 — which state legislators passed and Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law in May — prevents automatic re-enrollment.

“This is actually the very first election under the new law,” Scott said.

Larry J. Wallenstein, a Pompano Beach real estate agent, said he received a letter from Scott on Thursday notifying him that to qualify to vote by mail he needs to comply with the law’s new identification requirements. Scott said he sent more than 73,000 of those letters.

“There is absolutely no reason that they have to collect all of this data,” Wallenstein said, adding that he doesn’t understand why there was a need to change a system that already works.

Scott agrees and said he hopes everyone is aware of the state’s changes so they can meet the requirements to be able to cast their ballots. The general election is on Jan. 11, 2022.

“I am certainly not in favor of the new obstacles that are being put between the voter and the ballot box, but this is the law of the land,” Scott said.

How to participate

For more general information about the requirements, call 954-357-8683 or e-mail elections@browardvotes.gov.

Early voting: Oct. 22-31

When voting early or voting at a polling place, Florida law requires voters to present a picture identification with a signature. Here is a list of the acceptable forms of ID:

  • Florida driver’s license (quickest ID to process)
  • Florida identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (quickest ID to process)
  • 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

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About the Authors:

Michael Putney came to Local 10 in 1989 to become senior political reporter and host of "This Week In South Florida with Michael Putney." He is Local 10's senior political reporter. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.