Voting Basics

For Active-Duty members of the uniformed services, Merchant Marine, dependents, spouses, and overseas voters.

In order to vote in Florida, a person must be registered to vote in Florida.


REGISTRATION DEADLINE

The deadline to register to vote in Florida is 29 days prior to the election in which a person would like to vote. (How do I register to vote in Florida?)


LATE REGISTRATION

A person is eligible for LATE REGISTRATION IF the person or accompanying family member has been discharged or separated from the uniformed services or the United States Merchant Marine, has returned from a military deployment or activation, or has separated from employment outside the territorial limits of the United States, after the book-closing date for an election. A person who is otherwise qualified may register to vote in such election until 5 p.m. on the Friday before that election in the office of the supervisor of elections. Such persons must produce sufficient documentation showing evidence of qualifying for late registration.


KEEPING THE MAILING ADDRESS AND BALLOT ADDRESS UPDATED IS ESSENTIAL

Returned undeliverable mail (even if the mailing address is correct) can lead to a record status being changed to the “inactive” status. If the voter does not update his or her voter registration information, request a vote-by-mail ballot, or vote by the second general election after being placed on the inactive list, the voter’s name shall be removed from the statewide voter registration system and the voter shall be required to reregister by the deadline (29 days prior to an election) to have his or her name restored to the statewide voter registration system. (How can I update my mailing address?) It is recommended to check one’s voter status prior to the registration deadline (29 days prior to an election) for each election. If a person votes by mail, it is also recommended to contact the Supervisor of Elections to confirm that the ballot address is also updated since a person may list a ballot address separate from the mailing address, and a ballot address is not automatically updated when the mailing address is updated.


HOW TO VOTE

You must register by the deadline to vote in any election. Once you are registered, you may vote in person OR by mail in any election for which you are otherwise eligible.

TO VOTE IN PERSON

To vote in person, you will need a picture and signature ID. You may use any of the following to vote in person. If you have one ID below with only your picture, you will need to provide additional identification that provides your signature:

1. Florida driver license. 2. Florida identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. 3. United States passport. 4. Debit or credit card. 5. Military identification. 6. Student identification. 7. Retirement center identification. 8. Neighborhood association identification. 9. Public assistance identification. 10. Veteran health identification card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. 11. A license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued pursuant to s. 790.06. 12. Employee identification card issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the Federal Government, the state, a county, or a municipality.

                                                             You may vote in person EITHER during early voting OR on Election Day.
If you wait to vote on Election Day, you will need to vote at the polling location that is assigned to you according to your legal residence address. To find your polling location, either contact our office or go to our website and check your voter status. Once you arrive at the early voting site or polling location, the poll workers will answer any questions you may have. The polls are open for voting on Election Day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

TO VOTE BY MAIL

To vote by mail, a person must request a vote-by-mail ballot by the deadline, complete the ballot and sign the Voter’s Certificate, and return the completed ballot and signed Voter’s Certificate by the deadline.


REQUESTING A VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT

DEADLINE TO REQUEST

For a Florida voter to be sent a vote-by-mail ballot, a person must request a vote-by-mail ballot. The deadline for the Supervisor of Elections to receive a request for a vote-by-mail ballot to be mailed is 12 days before any election at 5 p.m. However, persons eligible for emailed and faxed ballots (active-duty uniformed services and Merchant Marines living outside Duval County; such members’ spouse and dependents living outside Duval County; and overseas voters) may continue requesting emailed and/or faxed ballots after 12 days prior to Election Day. Requests received after 7 p.m. US Eastern Time on Election Day will not be processed, and the voted ballot must be received by the Supervisor of Elections by the deadline regardless of when the ballot is requested.

A person may request vote-by-mail ballots for any or all elections through the next scheduled general election. VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT REQUESTS EXPIRE AFTER EVERY GENERAL ELECTION. After any general election, if you want to vote by mail in future elections, you must request vote-by-mail ballots again.

BALLOT DELIVERY METHODS
Once a person is registered to vote, the voter may request that a ballot be delivered to the voter by one of the following delivery methods:
• Mail
Fax (faxed ballots are only available for active-duty uniformed services and Merchant Marines living outside Duval County; such members’ spouses and dependents living outside Duval County; and overseas voters)
OR
Email (emailed ballots are only available for active-duty uniformed services and Merchant Marines living outside Duval County; such members’ spouses and dependents living outside Duval County; and overseas voters). With an emailed ballot, the voter is sent an email with two attachments that the voter must print and return according to the instructions included with the ballot.

How can I request a vote-by-mail ballot?


VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT “SEND” DEADLINE

By 45 days prior to any election, vote-by-mail ballots (including ballots sent by email and fax) are sent to the following voters for whom a request for a ballot has been received: members of the uniformed services and Merchant Marine, spouses and dependents of such members, and overseas voters. After 45 days prior to the election, ballots are sent within two business days of the Supervisor of Elections receiving a request for a ballot.


RECEIVING AND COMPLETING THE VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT

OVERVIEW: when a voter votes by using a vote-by-mail ballot (whether the ballot is delivered to the voter by mail, fax, or email): as per the instructions included with the ballot, the voter must complete the ballot, must complete the accompanying Voter’s Certificate with handwritten signature and date signed, and must return the ballot with Voter’s Certificate so that it is received by the deadline.

With an emailed ballot, the voter is sent an email with two attachments (one attachment is the ballot, and one attachment is the instructions document that contains the Voter’s Certificate.) The voter must print the ballot and Voter’s Certificate. There are no size requirements for the paper that the voter uses when the voter prints the emailed ballot or when the voter receives the ballot by fax; any size paper may be used.

The voter must complete the ballot and Voter’s Certificate with handwritten signature and return both items according to the instructions.


FOR BALLOT TO BE COUNTED, SIGNATURE RETURNED WITH VOTED BALLOT MUST MATCH SIGNATURE ON RECORD

For a ballot to be counted, the signature returned with the voted ballot must match the signature on the voter’s registration record. For this reason, updating your signature on your voter registration record periodically (or when your signature changes) is essential. How can I update my signature on my voter registration record?


BALLOT RETURN METHODS

The Supervisor of Elections is NOT permitted to accept the voted ballot directly from a voter by email. The supervisor of elections is NOT permitted to accept the voted ballot from a stateside voter by fax.

When returning an emailed or faxed ballot by mail, the voter must use two (any size) of the voter’s own envelopes. The voted ballot is placed into one envelope and sealed; this sealed envelope now containing ONLY the voted ballot is known as the secrecy envelope. Next, BOTH the sealed secrecy envelope containing the voted ballot AND the completed Voter’s Certificate are now placed together into one envelope now known as the mailing envelope. The mailing envelope must then be addressed as per the instructions.

STATESIDE VOTERS using a ballot that was emailed or faxed to them must return the voted ballot and completed Voter’s Certificate as per the instructions by mailing (by using sufficient postage or by using the postage-paid template available as per the emailed/faxed ballot instructions), by delivering, by having the ballot delivered to the office of the supervisor of elections of the county in which the voter’s precinct is located or by dropping it off at an authorized secure ballot intake station, available at each early voting location during early voting hours.

OVERSEAS VOTERS using a ballot that was emailed or faxed to them must return the voted ballot and completed Voter’s Certificate as per the instructions by faxing, by mailing (by using sufficient postage or by using the postage-paid template available as per the emailed/faxed ballot instructions), by delivering, by having the ballot delivered to the office of the supervisor of elections of the county in which the voter’s precinct is located or by dropping it off at an authorized secure ballot intake station, available at each early voting location during early voting hours.


BACKUP BALLOT

Members of the uniformed services or Merchant Marine living outside Duval County; uniformed services and Merchant Marine members’ dependents and spouses living outside Duval County; and overseas voters who make a timely application for but do not receive an official vote-by-mail ballot may use the Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) to vote in any federal, state, or local election. How the FWAB works is that it is a backup ballot. A voter who submits the FWAB and later receives the official vote-by-mail ballot may submit the official vote-by-mail ballot. For more information about the FWAB, please see item #3 in the Ballot Not Received section of this website.


BALLOT RETURN DEADLINE

Voted ballots must be received by the office of the supervisor of elections in which the voter’s precinct is located by Election Day at 7 p.m. US Eastern Time. Voted ballots returned by fax from overseas voters must be received by Election Day at 7 p.m. US Eastern Time.

What is the deadline (including the date) for the Supervisor of Elections to receive my voted ballot in the upcoming election?


DEADLINE EXTENSION FOR OVERSEAS VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOTS

Overseas voters are granted a 10-day deadline extension for their ballots to be received by mail by the Supervisor of Elections. The deadline extension applies only to presidential preference primary elections and general elections. There is no deadline extension for overseas ballots returned by fax.

For an overseas ballot to count after Election Day, the overseas voted ballot must be postmarked or dated no later than Election Day and received by the Supervisor of Elections of the county in which the voter is registered to vote no later than ten days after Election Day.

If you did not find the information you were seeking above, you may find it at Frequently Asked Questions and Quick Links. You may also contact the Military and Overseas Voting Team with any questions. (Whom do I contact if I am a civilian living within the United States?)

Sections 97.055, 97.0555, 98.065, 98.077, 101.045, 101.62, 101.665, 101.68(2)(c)(1)a, Fla. Stat. (2021) Rule 1S-2.030 (2020)