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Be election ready: Local10.com 2020 voter guide

Voters will cast their ballots in 2020.
Voters will cast their ballots in 2020. (WPLG)

Local10.com wants to make it easy for you to vote in this important election year.

Below is a county-by-county guide for information on how to register, where to vote and what you’ll need to know about the democratic process. Also, questions answered regarding voting during a coronavirus pandemic.

Important Dates

Oct. 5: Deadline to register for general election

Oct. 24: Deadline to request vote-by-mail ballot for general election

Oct. 19-Nov. 1: Early voting period for general election

Nov. 3: General election, polls open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Am I eligible to vote?

The short answer is, most likely, yes, provided you meet a few basic requirements.

In order to register to vote, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States of America (a lawful permanent resident is not a U.S. citizen for registration and voting purposes)
  • Be a Florida resident
  • Be at least 18 years old (although you may preregister if you are 16)
  • Not have been adjudicated mentally incapacitated with respect to voting in Florida or any other state without having had your voting rights restored
  • Not have been convicted of a felony in Florida, or any other state, without your civil rights having been restored.
  • Provide your current and valid Florida driver’s license number or Florida identification card number. If you do not have a current and valid Florida driver’s license number or Florida identification card, you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you do not have any of the above, check the appropriate box provided on the voter application registration.

How can I register to vote?

You can apply to register to vote in any of the following ways:

  • Online at RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov
  • If you are renewing your Florida driver’s license, you can submit your vote registration information online when you renew through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and and Motor Vehicles’ renewal system. Visit GoRenew.com.
  • A Tax collector’s office that issues driver’s licenses or Florida identification cards
  • Voter registration agency. For more information about who these agencies are, visit the NVRA webpage.
  • By mail or in person. The statewide voter registration application form in the following versions are available for download and acceptable for registration: Download the PDF here: English PDF / Español PDF. Then mail it to the Supervisor of Elections (see addresses for three counties below)
  • If you can’t print the form, you can find a paper information form at your local library. The form contains detailed information as to how to submit the form to your county Supervisor of Elections.
  • Or pick one up at county Supervisor of Elections office. (With the COVID-19 pandemic, call before you go to make sure someone is available)

The deadline to register in an upcoming election is 29 days before the election. You MUST register by Oct. 5 for the November general election.

What Are The Facts About Vote-By-Mail?

South Florida election officials are expecting a record number of early voters for the 2020 general election on Nov. 3.

Take a look at how various states handle early voting, mail voting and absentee ballots, including which ones have made significant changes because of COVID-19.

See the story here.

Vote-By-Mail Drop Off Locations

  • 24 vote-by-mail drop-off locations will be available in Broward County ahead of Election Day. Click here to find out where.
  • Where are the vote-by-mail drop off location in Miami-Dade County? Click here for the complete list.
  • 5 vote-by-mail drop-off locations will be available in Monroe County. Click here for the list.

Who is my Supervisor of Elections?

>In Miami-Dade County, Christina White, supervisor of elections

2700 NW 87th Ave., Miami, FL 33172

Phone: (305) 499-8501

email: soedade@miamidade.gov

website: Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections

Mail your voter registration application form to:

Supervisor of Elections

P.O. Box 521550

Miami FL 33152

>In Broward County, Peter Antonacci, supervisor of elections

115 S. Andrews Avenue, Room 102, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Phone: (954) 357-7050

email: elections@browardsoe.org

website: Broward County Supervisor of Elections

>Mail your voter registration application form to:

Supervisor of Elections

P.O. Box 029001

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33302 -9001

>In Monroe County, Joyce Griffin, supervisor of elections

530 Whitehead Street, Suite 101, Key West, FL 33040

Phone: (305) 292-3416

email: info@keys-elections.org

website: Monroe County Supervisor of Elections

Mail application form directly to the above address.

>In Palm Beach County, Wendy Sartory Link, supervisor of elections

240 South Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33415

Phone: (561) 656-6200

email: info@pbcelections.org

website: Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections

>Mail your voter registration application form to:

Supervisor of Elections

P.O. Box 22309

West Palm Beach, FL 33416 -2309

How do I know if I’m already registered?

Check your status using the Voter Information Lookup Tool on the Florida Division of Elections website.

All the ways to cast your ballot

>Accessible Voting for Persons with Disabilities

>Early Voting

>Election Day Voting

>Language Assistance for Voting

>Military and Overseas Citizens Voting

>Vote-by-Mail

Check The Status Of Your Mail-in Ballot

Any voter who has requested a vote-by-mail ballot can track online the status of his or her ballot through a link within the Division of Elections’ Voter Information Lookup.

Or directly at your county Supervisor of Elections website.

>In Miami-Dade County, click here.

>In Broward County, click here.

>In Monroe County, click here.

The United States Postal Service also provides a free service called Informed Delivery that allows you to digitally preview the address side of certain mail pieces such as a requested vote-by-mail ballot that will arrive soon at your address.

What do I need on Election Day?

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. Any voters waiting in line at 7 p.m. will have the opportunity to cast a ballot.

In order to vote, you must provide a Florida driver's license, identification card, U.S. passport or some other form of photo identification with signature.

Can I still get a vote by mail ballot?

Yes, you can request your ballot today and it will be mailed sometime during a 7-day window between 40 and 33 days before an election. For the November general election, that will be Sept. 24- Oct. 1. The last day to request that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed in Florida is no later than 5 p.m. EST on the 10th day before the election. The deadline for the General Election is Oct. 24.

Are there precautions being taken for COVID-19 if I want to vote in person?

The Miami Dade County Elections Department has released a health and safety fact sheet regarding in person voting amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. See the fact sheet here.

See Broward County’s fact sheet and recommendations on what voters should do to prepare for in person voting. Click here.

How do felons get their rights restored?

If you were convicted of murder, or felony sexual offense, voting rights can only be restored through clemency. You can apply for clemency, search for grant of clemency and certificates, and/or find out more information about clemency, visit the website for the Florida Commission on Offender Review.

If you were convicted of any other felony, voting rights are restored upon completion of all terms of a sentence including parole or probation. You may also apply for clemency to restore your voting rights.

To see if you have completed all the terms of your sentence including parole or probation, you can contact the Florida Department of Corrections, and /or the clerk of the court in the jurisdiction(s) in which you were convicted whether that be a circuit court in Florida, a court in another state, or a federal court.

A recent court ruling, though, requires former felons to pay off outstanding court fees as a precondition to having their voting rights restored.

Two years ago, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment granting the right to vote to 1.4 million people with felonies in the state, but a federal appeals court ruled on Sept. 11, 2020 that the state could withhold the right from anyone who has not paid off outstanding fines and court fees.

Voting

Broward County

Sample Ballots

Find Your Precinct

Miami-Dade County

Sample Ballots

Find Your Precinct

Monroe County

Sample Ballots

Find Your Precinct

Palm Beach County

Sample Ballots

Find Your Precinct

Important Races

Republican President Candidate

Donald J. Trump

(Stance on Issues)

Democratic Presidential Candidate

Joe Biden

(Stance on Issues)

Click here for complete candidate listings for the 2020 primary and general elections.