Ways to Vote
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There are three ways to cast a vote in Florida. Considering each will help you decided which way works best for you.
One way to vote is in your own home by absentee ballot. Obtain your ballot from your local Supervisor of Elections. You can ask for one or an immediate family member can do so for you. Once you have your ballot, if you need assistance in actually filling our your ballot, you can have anyone other than your employer, agent of your employer or an officer or agent of your union, assist you in marking your choices on the ballot or have the person mark the ballot for you. Then place a stamp on the envelope and mail it back to your Supervisor of Elections. It is that easy.
One advantage of an absentee ballot is once you obtain your ballot from your local Supervisor of Elections, you control your election experience. If you vote at home, you do not have to deal with having transportation to a polling site or waiting in lines. However, the down side of voting from home is you do not have the community experience of voting in the company of others. Also some people with disabilities feel it is very important to vote in person at the polls in order to continually emphasize the need having accessible polling places and equipment.
A second way to vote is during Early Voting at the locations designated by your local Supervisor of Elections. You will vote on the same type of voting equipment used on Election Day. Sites included for selection include the main office and branch offices of the Supervisor of Elections, city hall, permanent public library facility, fairground, civic center, courthouse, county commission building, stadium, convention center, government-owned senior center, or government-owned community center. The sites must be geographically located so as to provide all voters in the county an equal opportunity to cast a ballot, insofar as is practicable. In addition, a supervisor may designate one early voting site per election in an area of the county that does not have any of the eligible early voting locations. The additional early voting site must be geographically located so as to provide all voters in that area with an equal opportunity to cast a ballot, as is practicable.
During Early Voting, you can vote at any of the sites, unlike voting on Election Day only at the polling place in your precinct. There are some advantages to using Early Voting instead of Election Day voting, as you get to choose which of the places on the list works best for you. The places chosen for early voting are, in general, designed to be quite accessible. The Early Voting Polling places may have more accessible parking places than some Election Day polling places. Also the Early Voting polling places are more likely to have accessible bathrooms than some of the polling places in use on Election Day. This is because some of the Election Day polling places may be in churches, which are not required to meet ADA accessibility standards for bathrooms. In some counties, lines are shorter during Early Voting than on Election Day. If you call your Supervisor of Elections office in advance, staff will often be able to tell you where the shortest lines are, as well as least busy times of the day. Also keep in mind the number of days and hours of Early Voting can vary per county and your Supervisor of Elections has this information.
At the Polls
Polling places are specific locations set up for voting. They can be in many different locations such as churches, libraries, schools, or other types of public buildings. Check the address listed on your voter information card, or with your Supervisor of Elections to find out the location designated as your polling place. It should also list the hours it will be open on Election Day. Typically, the polls are open from 7 a.m.. to 7 p.m.. on Election Day.
If you vote on Election Day, you must vote at your assigned polling place - the location where you are registered. If you call your Supervisor of Elections in advance, staff will often be able to tell you when the least busy times are during the day. Please keep in mind, if you vote at a church, the bathrooms are not required to be ADA accessible.