Knowing where to vote is just as important as registering to do so. Here’s how to locate where to cast your ballot on Election Day.
Despite everything that’s happening, it’s important to keep in mind that Election Day is just a few weeks away. It seems as though 2020 is a year that is both moving too fast and too slow, and there is no in-between. But sooner or later, November will be here and it’s important to plan ahead.
Finding your exact polling place is just as important and crucial as registering to vote. This is especially true in a country like the United States, where Election Day is not a federal holiday, and, for most voters, carving out time out from their jobs and personal lives to go cast their ballot can be challenging.
Where Do I Vote for the Election in Florida?
No matter what state you live in, you can use Vote.org’s polling place locator to find and search your polling place.
In the case of the Sunshine State, residents can go directly to the Voter Information Lookup section of the Florida Department of State’s website.
This might sound obvious, but you have to be a registered voter in Florida in order to see your status. It takes at least two days since you registered for your information to appear in the system.
After filling out the online form, you will be taken to a new page that details exactly where you’ll be able to cast your vote.
According to data from the Department of State, Florida had a total of 4,607 physical polling places for the 2016 General Elections. It also had 351 locations open for early voting.
Early Voting in Florida
So what happens if you can’t make it to your polling site on Election Day? Luckily for you, Florida is one of 29 states where early voting and absentee voting are permitted with no excuse required.
Early voting is exactly what the name suggests: you can cast your vote on any election before the actual day voting takes place.
This doesn’t mean that all polling places will be open. The early voting sites and times are set by the Supervisors of Elections.
When does early voting happen in Florida?
The early voting period for 2020 goes from October 24 to October 31.
To find the early voting places, you need to check by county. For instance, here’s where to find early voting in these three counties:
Broward: browardsoe.org or 954-357-7050.
Miami-Dade: miamidade.gov/elections or 305-499-8683.
Palm Beach: pbcelections.org 561-656-6200.
Absentee or Mail-In Voting
Absentee or mail-in voting is when the state allows you to cast your ballot by mail on or before Election Day.
The application for a vote-by-mail ballot can be found in your county’s Supervisor of Elections website.
The deadline to request your vote-by-mail ballot is 10 days before the presidential election. With the election being held on November 3rd this year, the 2020 deadline is October 24, but waiting that long will mean you have almost no time to send it back.
When will my mail-in ballot arrive?
Election offices are required to send absentee ballots at least 45 days before a federal election. If you requested your ballot by email, the ballot should arrive right away, but depending on your location it may take a few more days.
How can I ensure my mail-in ballot gets counted?
Your mail-in-vote is due by 7 p.m. on Election Day, which means you should mail it several days in advance to make sure it gets counted, deliver it in person to an authorized location, or drop it at a drop box.
Using a ballot drop box
Another option for delivering your mail-in vote securely is using a ballot drop box. The boxes are locked, anchored in place, and typically under video surveillance or physical protection. Election officials directly collect ballots from these boxes, removing the USPS as a middleman.