Voting Basics

for 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

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 5:00 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 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.
 

REQUESTING A VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT

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 10 days before any election at 5:00 P.M.

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
  OR
• Fax (faxed ballots are only available for the following persons who must be LIVING OUTSIDE DUVAL COUNTY: members of the uniformed services, Merchant Marine, dependents, spouses, and overseas voters)
  OR
• Email (emailed ballots are only available for the following persons who must be LIVING OUTSIDE DUVAL COUNTY: members of the uniformed services, Merchant Marine, dependents, spouses, and overseas voters). With an emailed ballot, the voter is sent an email with two attachments that the voter must print.

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

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, Merchant Marine, spouses and dependents of such members, and overseas voters. After 45 days prior to the election, ballots are sent within two days of the Supervisor of Elections receiving a request for a ballot

BALLOT COMPLETION AND RETURN

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. Stateside voters must return the voted ballot by mailing, delivering, or 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 drop box, available at each early voting location. Overseas voters may return the voted ballot by faxing, mailing, delivering, or 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 drop box, available at each early voting location. What is the deadline for the Supervisor of Elections to receive my voted ballot?

For a ballot to be counted, the signature returned with the voted ballot must match the signature on the voter’s registration record. How can I update my signature on my voter registration record?

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. More information about the FWAB is located at item #3 in the Ballot Not Received section of this website.

DEADLINE EXTENSION

Overseas voters are granted a 10-day deadline extension for their ballots to be received by the Supervisor of Elections by mail. The deadline extension applies only to presidential preference primary elections and general elections. 

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. Ballots returned by overseas voters by fax must be received by the Supervisor of Elections of the county in which the voter is registered to vote by Election Day at 7:00 P.M. US Eastern Time. For any ballot to be counted, the signature returned with the voted ballot must match the signature on the voter’s registration record. How can I update my signature on my voter registration record?

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

Rule 1S-2.030 (2020)