En Español

Election Administration in Florida

Expand All Collapse All

Election Types and Dates

Election Dates

Upcoming Primary Elections

The Presidential Preference Primary is March 15, 2016. The primary election for other federal offices, and various state legislative offices and local offices, is August 30, 2016.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Fla. Stat. § 100.061 [link]

Florida Elections Calendar 2015-17 [link]

Upcoming General Elections

The general election is November 8, 2016.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Fla. Stat. § 100.031 [link]

Florida Elections Calendar 2015-17 [link]

How is a nominee determined?

How is a nominee determined (caucus, primary, convention)?

Primary elections.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Fla. Stat. § 100.061 [link]

Political Party Affiliation

Can voters register by party in the state?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Fla. Stat. § 97.052(1)-(2) [link]

Must voters be registered with a political party if they would like to vote on that party’s candidates in a partisan primary election (i.e., are primaries open or closed)?

Yes, primaries in Florida are closed, and only voters who are members of a political party may vote for that party's candidates in a primary election. Voters without a party affiliation are not eligible to vote for party candidates in a primary election. An exception applies in one circumstance: if all candidates for an office have the same party affiliation and the winner of the primary election will have no opposition in the general election, then the primary election for that office is open to all voters regardless of what party they are affiliated with and to all voters who are not affiliated with any party.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Fla. Stat. § 101.021 [link]

Fla. Const. art. VI, § 5(b) [link]

When can a voter change or switch their party affiliation?

Changes to a voter's political party affiliation should be made before the voter registration deadline.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Fla. Stat. § 97.055(c) [link]

Voter Registration

Who Can Vote?

What are the state's residency requirements for voters?

To register to vote in Florida, a person live in Florida and in the county in which they seek to register.

A person who is homeless or without a permanent “traditional home” but intends to remain in a locale can register using an address for either 1) the place where they regularly receive mail or messages, or 2) a church, if it agrees to accept mail or messages on the person’s behalf, or 3) the shelter or other local that a person frequents and could be reached, or 4) the specific post office for general delivery. It may even be a specific street corner, park bench, vacant lot, etc., to where the person frequently rests or returns and intends to serve as the “home‐base.”

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Fla. Stat. § 97.041(1)(a) [link]

Fla. Stat. § 97.055(2) [link]

Can someone pre-register to vote if they will not be 18 years old by the next election? If so, who?

A person may pre-register to vote if they are 16 years old, but they cannot vote until they are 18 years old.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Fla. Stat. § 97.041(1)(b) [link]

Can 17-year-olds who will be 18-year-olds by the general election vote in the primary?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Fla. Stat. § 97.041(1)(a) [link]

Does the state take away the right to vote from persons convicted of certain crimes? If so, what crimes?

A person loses the right to vote after being convicted of a felony.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Fla. Stat. § 97.041(2) [link]

If people lose the right to vote because of a criminal conviction, can they regain the right to vote? How?

In Florida, regaining the right to vote is not automatic. A person convicted of a felony must first complete their entire sentence, including any period of imprisonment, probation, parole, community control, control release, and conditional release and and pay any court-ordered restitute and civil judgment and obligations. The person must then wait a certain period of time before they can apply to Florida's Clemency Board to have their civil rights (including the right to vote) restored:

  • Citizens who were convicted of certain "serious" felonies can apply 7 years after they complete their sentence, and the Clemency Board will hold a hearing to determine whether to restore the person's civil rights. For a list of these serious felonies, click here and read pages 10-13 of the PDF file.

  • Citizens who were convicted of any other felony can apply 5 years after they complete their sentence, so long as they have no outstanding detainers or pending criminal charges when they apply. The Clemency Board will consider the person's application without holding a hearing. If the person's application is denied, the person may then request their application be reconsidered at a hearing.

A person's right to vote will be restored only if the Clemency Board decides to restore that person's civil rights. For information on how to apply to the Clemency Board, click here to access the Board's website, and click here to download the application.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Clemency Board website [link]

Rules of Executive Clemency [link]

Application for Clemency [link]

Voter Registration Options

Is fully online voter registration available? (i.e., can voters fill in and submit an online application without printing and signing it?)

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Florida Division of Elections website [link]

Does the state accept the National Mail Registration Form?

Yes. Click here to download the form.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

National Mail Voter Registration Form [link]

Is the state required to register voters at public assistance agencies and driver's license agencies, per the National Voter Registration Act of 1993?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

U.S. Department of Justice website [link]

Student-Specific Rules

Does the state have specific rules on students registering to vote or voting?

A college student may choose to register to vote at their parents' address if they intend to live in that county after graduating. Otherwise, they may register to vote in the county where the college is located.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Florida Op. Atty. Gen., 070-97 (Aug. 3, 1970) [link]

Voter Registration Deadlines

When is the voter registration deadline?

The 29th day before Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Fla. Stat. § 97.055(1)(a) [link]

How is the deadline enforced for mailed applications?

Postmark - the application must be postmarked by the voter registration deadline. If the application has no postmark or if the postmark is unclear, then the application must be received by the Supervisor of Elections no later than 5 days after the voter registration deadline.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Fla. Stat. § 97.053(4) [link]

When must a voter make changes to their registration for the changes to be in effect before the person seeks to vote?

Most changes to a voter registration record must be made by the voter registration deadline. However, a voter can update their signature at any time, including after the voter registration deadline. Additionally, if the voter moved to a new address without updating their voter registration record, the voter may update their address at their new polling place on Election Day if either (1) the voter moved to a new address within the same county, or (2) the voter moved to a new county and that county uses an electronic pollbook. Similarly, name changes can also be made at the polling place on Election Day. However, if a voter moves to a new county and that county does not use an electronic poll book, the voter cannot update their address at the polls.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Fla. Stat. § 98.077 [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.045 [link]

Fla. Stat. § 97.055 [link]

Voter Registration Drives

Does the state require organizations conducting voter registration drives to register?

Yes. Before collecting voter registration applications from Florida voter registration applicants, a third-party voter registration organization must register with the state and submit the names of the organization’s officers, the organization’s permanent address, and the name and address of the organization’s registered agent in the state. This registration is done by submitting a form DS-DE 119 to the Division of Elections by email to 3PVRO@dos.myflorida.com or fax to 850-245-6291. The form can be downloaded here. The organization must also submit the names and addresses of each employee registration agent who will be collecting applications on behalf of the organization. Employee registration agents are those individuals employed by the organization who collect voter registration applications from Florida voter registration applicants on behalf of the organization.

Any change to previously submitted information, including any addition to the list of its employee registration agents, or any termination of an employee registration agent, or any change in information about an employee registration agent, must be submitted to the Division of Elections within 10 days of the change. These updates are submitted using Form 119 or by transmitting the notification by email or fax. If Form DS-DE 119 is not used as the means of notification, the notification must contain the organization’s assigned identification number and the name of the employee registration agent whose information is being changed as applicable. An organization that terminates its status as a third party voter registration organization must submit a form reflecting its termination.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Admin. Code R. 1S-2.042 [link]

Fla. Stat. § 97.0575 [link]

Form DS-DE 119 [link]

Are there restrictions on getting voter registration forms?

No, but forms requested from the state after the first 10,000 are 1 cent per form. However, the state form may be reproduced by the voter registration drive if the reproduced form is in the same format as the state form

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Third Party Voter Registration Organization Summary [link]

Fla. Stat. § 97.052(1)(b)(2), (1)(c) [link]

Does the state require any training in order to conduct voter registration drives?

No.

Does the state have restrictions on who may help others register to vote?

No.

Does the state have restrictions on paying drive workers, or additional rules related to payment?

Yes. A person may not solicit or pay another person to solicit voter registrations for compensation that is based upon the number of registrations obtained. A person who violates that law commits a felony of the third degree.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 104.012(3) [link]

Are there restrictions on the voter registration drive offering something of value to a person in exchange for completing a voter registration application?

Federal law states that whoever "pays or offers to pay or accepts payment either for registration to vote or for voting shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than five years." At least one federal appellate court has interpreted "payment" as "intended to include forms of pecuniary value offered or given directly to an individual voter, and indicated the value should be based on "an assessment of the monetary worth of an item from the perspective of the voter receiving the item." That case held that food vouchers could be "payment."

Another example is California's Secretary of State's interpretation of the federal law to mean that "Any type of incentive is considered 'payment,' even things as seemingly innocent as cookies or admission to an entertainment event.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

California Secretary of State's Guide to Voter Registration Drives, p. 11 [link]

United States v. Garcia, 719 F.2d 99, 102-103 (5th Cir. 1983) [link]

52 U.S.C. § 10307(c) [link]

Must the registration drive worker sign the completed voter registration application, and must the drive or canvasser place other information on applications?

There is no requirement for workers to sign the completed application. However, each registration agent or the organization must print the date that the applicant delivered the application to the registration agent in a conspicuous space on the bottom portion of the reverse side of the voter registration application in a manner that does not obscure any other entry. The date must be printed in the format: MM/DD/YY. Additionally, each organization must ensure that its assigned organization identification number is recorded on the bottom portion of the reverse side of any voter registration application it delivers to the Division of Elections or a supervisor of elections in a manner that does not obscure any other entry.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Admin. Code R. 1S-2.042(4)(b)-(c) [link]

Does the state have a rule requiring a receipt or other tracking information to be provided to the applicant?

No.

Are there restrictions on copying completed voter registration applications prior to submitting them to the election official, or other restrictions on data entry or disclosure?

This is not addressed in Florida law.

Is there a time limit for voter registration groups to submit the voter registration applications they collect?

Yes. All applications must be delivered to the Division or a supervisor of elections or be postmarked within 10 calendar days of collection by an organization or any of its registration agents. If the 10th day falls on a weekend, holiday or other day on which the Division or the supervisor of elections office is closed, the voter registration application must be delivered or be postmarked by the following business day. If, however, the voter registration deadline for any given election for federal or state office falls within the 10-day period, all applications collected by an organization or any of its agents before book closing must be delivered on or before the voter registration deadline.

(Note: A statute still on the books would require applications to be received by the division or supervisor of elections no more than 48 hours after the applicant completed or delivered the application to the third-party registration organization or any agent acting on their behalf. However, a federal court injunction permanently prevents that statute from being enforced to the extent it requires delivery of an application within 48 hours—or any period less than 10 days.)

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Judgment, League of Women Voters of Florida, No. 4:11-cv-00628-RH-CAS (enjoining Fla. Stat. § 97.0575(3)(a) to the extent it requires delivery of an application within 48 hours—or any period less than 10 days) [link]

Fla. Admin. Code R. 1S-2.042(4)(d) [link]

What are the consequences for failing to submit applications on time?

If the application is received after the deadline, the organization will incur a fine of $50 per form. If applications are completed or received by the third-party registration organization prior to book closing, the organization will incur a fine of $100 per form for applications delivered after book closing. For each completed application that is collected but not submitted, the third-party registration organization will be fined $500. Fees increase if organizations willfully delay in the delivery of completed applications, but are capped at $1000 per year.

A showing by the third-party voter registration organization that the failure to deliver the voter registration application within the required timeframe is based upon force majeure or impossibility of performance is an affirmative defense to the submission deadline requirements. The secretary may waive the fines for late applications upon a showing that the failure to deliver the voter registration application promptly is based upon force majeure or impossibility of performance. Any organization claiming that its failure to deliver a voter registration application within the required timeframe was based on force majeure or impossibility of performance may provide a sworn statement to the Division explaining the circumstances constituting force majeure or impossibility of performance. If the information provided demonstrates that the failure to timely deliver a voter registration application was the result of force majeure or impossibility of performance, the Secretary of State will not refer the violation to the Attorney General for enforcement.

Further, a supervisor of election who reports untimely applications to the Division of Elections, where the application has a third party organization’s identification number but no other information indicating it was collected by a third-party organization, must describe his efforts to contact the applicant to confirm that the application was delivered to the organization. The Secretary of State must not refer a violation to the Attorney General unless there is evidence that the applicant entrusted the voter registration application to a third party voter registration organization.

A third-party voter registration organization that collects voter registration applications serves as fiduciary to the applicant.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Admin. Code R. 1S-2.042(8)(b)-(d) [link]

Fla. Stat. § 97.0575(3)(a)-(b) [link]

Same-Day Registration

Can voters register and vote on the same day (i.e., does the state offer same-day registration)?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Fla. Stat. § 97.055(1)(a) [link]

Voters Who Have Moved or Changed Their Name

Can people vote if they moved, but did not update their voter registration with their new address?

A voter can update their signature at any time, including after the voter registration deadline. Additionally, if the voter moved to a new address without updating their voter registration record, the voter may update their address at their new polling place on Election Day if either (1) the voter moved to a new address within the same county, or (2) the voter moved to a new county and that county uses an electronic pollbook. However, if a voter moves to a new county and that county does not use an electronic poll book, the voter cannot update their address at the polls.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Fla. Stat. § 101.045 [link]

Can people vote if they have changed their name, but did not update their voter registration with their new name?

A voter can update their voter registration record with their new name at the polling place on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Fla. Stat. § 101.045 [link]

Language, Literacy, and Disability Access

Language and Literacy Access

Does the state have any places that must provide election materials in languages other than English, per Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965?

Yes; the entire state must provide election materials in Spanish.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-04)

Voting Rights Act Amendments of 2006, Determinations Under Section 203, 76 Fed. Reg. 63602 (Oct. 13, 2011) [link]

Does the state have any other rules about providing election materials in languages other than English?

No.

Who can help a voter with reading assistance or translation if they can't vote on their own?

Under Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance to vote due to inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

Under state law, any voter who requests assistance voting due to or inability to read or write is allowed to receive the assistance of two election officials or some other person of the voter's choice (except the voter's employer, an agent of the voter's employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union). If a person other than an election official provides assistance in voting, then the person providing assistance must sign a Declaration to Provide Assistance. However, if the voter indicated when registering to vote they would require assistance when voting due to disability, blindness, or inability to read or write, then the person assisting the voter does not need to sign the Declaration.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 97.061 [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.051 [link]

Disability Access

Who can help a voter with a disability if they can't vote on their own?

Under Section 208 of the federal Voting Rights Act, any voter who requires assistance to vote due to inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer, an agent of that employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union.

Under state law, any voter who requests assistance voting due to disability, blindness, or inability to read or write English is allowed to receive the assistance of two election officials or some other person of the voter's choice (except the voter's employer, an agent of the voter's employer, or an officer or agent of the voter's union). If a person other than an election official provides assistance in voting at the polls, then the person providing assistance must sign a Declaration to Provide Assistance. However, if the voter is voting an absentee ballot, or if the voter is voting at the polls and the voter indicated when registering to vote they would require assistance when voting due to disability, blindness, or inability to read or write, then the person assisting the voter does not need to sign the Declaration.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 97.061 [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.661 [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.051 [link]

Does the state have other rules related to access for persons with disabilities?

Voters with disabilites who register to vote by mail and are voting for the first time in Florida are exempt from the requirement to provide ID when registering to vote or casting their first ballot.

Additionally, voters with disabilities are allowed to cast provisional ballots electronically.

A person is not eligible to vote if a court (in Florida or another state) has adjudicated that the person is mentally incompetent.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Const. art. 6, § 4(a) [link]

Fla. Stat. § 97.0535(4)(b) [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.048(4) [link]

Early Voting, Absentee Voting, and Other Ways to Vote

Vote-by-Mail

Does the state provide mail ballots to all voters without a request?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 101.62 [link]

Early Voting/Absentee In-Person Voting

Does the state have early voting/absentee in-person voting?

Yes, for any election is which a state or federal race is being voted on. Municipalities and special districts may conduct early voting for their elections, but they are not required to.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat.§ 101.657(1)(a), (e)-(f) [link]

Where does early voting/absentee in-person voting take place?

For elections in which a state or federal race is being voted on, early voting is offered in the main office of the county's Supervisor of Elections. The county Supervisor can also designate any branch office as an early voting location so long as it is a permanent facility used by the Supervisor and has been used for at least 1 year before the election. The Superivosr may also designate as an early voting location any 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; however, these sites must be geographically located so as to provide all voters in the county an equal opportunity to cast a ballot, as much 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. Such an 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 much as is practicable.

Each county must, at a minimum, have the same total number of early voting sites for a general election that the county had for the 2012 general election.

For a list of early voting locations by county in the March 2016 Presidential Preference Primary election, click here.

For municipalities and special districts that choose to conduct early voting for their own elections, they may conduct early voting at any location they choose.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Florida Early Voting Locations and Times: March 2016 Presidential Preference Primary [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.657(1)(a), (e)-(f) [link]

When does early voting/absentee in-person voting take place?

For elections in which a state or federal race is on the ballot, early voting begins on the 10th day before an election and ends on the 3rd day before the election. During this period, early voting must offered for no less than 8 hours and no more than 12 hours per day at each early voting location. In addition, the county's Supervisor of Elections may choose to offer early voting on the 15th, 14th, 13th, 12th, 11th, or 2nd day before the election for 8 to 12 hours a day.

Municipalities and special districts that choose to offer early voting for their elections may choose to offer it at any times they want, and if the Supervisor of Elections conducts early voting for a municipality or special election, the Supervisor of Election may choose to offer it any times the Supervisor wants.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 101.657(1)(d)-(f) [link]

What official chooses early voting/absentee in-person voting locations?

Each county's Supervisor of Elections.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 101.657(1)(b) [link]

Are lists of early voters/absentee in-person voters published? How?

Yes. During the early voting period, each Supervisor of Elections must make daily reports that list who has voted at an early voting location within the county. These reports are available to the public here.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 101.657(2) [link]

Fla. Admin. Code r. 1S-2.043(4) [link]

Florida Early Voting Reports website [link]

Absentee Voting by Mail

Can anyone vote absentee by mail without an excuse? If not, what excuses allow a voter to vote absentee by mail?

Yes, any voter can cast an absentee ballot without an excuse.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 101.62(1) [link]

Deadline to apply for absentee ballot by mail

If the voter requests that an absentee ballot be sent to them by mail, then the request must be received by 5:00pm on the 6th day before Election Day.

Alternatively, the voter may request, receive, and cast an absentee ballot in person at the Supervisor of Election's office up until 7 p.m. on Election Day. If the voter makes the request in person, the voter must show proper ID (see the "Voter ID and Challenges" section below).

Finally, if the voter designates in writing another person to request an absentee ballot for them in person at the Supervisor's office, that person must make the request no later than 5 days before Election Day. This person must provide to the Supervisor a photo ID and the written authorization by the voter. The person must then complete an affidavit affirming that they are authorized by the voter to pick up the ballot for them, and the person will indicate on the affidavit whether the person is a member of the voter's immediate family and, if so, how they are related.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 101.62(2), (4)(c) [link]

How does a voter apply for an absentee mail ballot?

A voter, or an immediate family member (spouse or a sibling, child, parent, or grandparent of the voter or the voter's spouse) or a legal guardian of the voter, may request an absentee ballot from the county Supervisor of Elections in one of the following ways:

  • Through an online application available on the Supervisor of Election's website
  • By phone
  • In writing, including by mail, e-mail, or fax
  • In person at the Supervisor's office

For a list of the Supervisors websites and contact information, click here.

A voter may request that the absentee ballot be mailed to either the address listed in their voter registration record or to the address of an immediate family member or legal guardian. If the voter requests that the absentee ballot be mailed to the address of an immediate family member or legal guardian, then the voter must make the request in writing, and the voter cannot designate an immediate family member to make the request for them.

When making a request, the voter must provide the following personal information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Birthdate
  • Signature, if the request is in writing.

When a voter designates an immediate family member or legal guardian to request an absentee ballot for them, that family member or legal guardian is considered the "requester," and they must provide the following information:

  • Voter's name
  • Voter's address
  • Voter's birthdate
  • Requester's name.
  • Requester's address.
  • Requester's driver license number, if available.
  • Requester's relationship to the voter
  • Requester's signature, if the request is in writing.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 101.62(1), (4) [link]

Fla. Division of Elections website [link]

Can a voter make an online request for an absentee mail ballot?

Yes, through either e-mail or an online application available on the county Supervisor of Elections website. For a list of the Supervisors' websites and contact information, click here.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Division of Elections website [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.62(1) [link]

Does a voter need to submit any supporting documentation or verification with an absentee mail ballot or absentee mail ballot application? If so, what is required?

Generally, no. However, if a voter requests an absentee ballot in person, the voter must show a proper ID (see the section below on "Voter ID and Challenges" for information on what ID is acceptable). Additionally, if a voter designates in writing another person to pick up the absentee ballot for them in person, that person must provide to the Supervisor of Elections a photo ID and the written authorization by the voter. The person must then complete an affidavit affirming that they are authorized by the voter to pick up the ballot for them, and the person will indicate on the affidavit whether the person is a member of the voter's immediate family and, if so, how they are related.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 101.62(4)(c) [link]

Are there restrictions on who may request or turn in an absentee mail ballot application for a voter?

Yes, the voter may designate only a legal guardian or an immediate family member (spouse or a sibling, child, parent, or grandparent of the voter or the voter's spouse) to apply for an absentee ballot on the voter's behalf.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 101.62(1), (4) [link]

Deadline to return absentee ballots

The Supervisor of Elections must receive the absentee ballot by 7:00pm on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 101.67(2) [link]

Are there restrictions on who may return a voter's absentee mail ballot for them?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Are there any special emergency rules that allow a voter to vote absentee by mail if they are unable to make it to the polls at the last minute?

Yes, if the emergency prevents the voter from voting at their polling place. On Election Day, the voter, or someone designated by the voter in writing, can request an absentee ballot in person at the county Supervisor of Election's office. The voter or the voter's designee must fill out an affidavit that explains the nature of the emergency that prevents the voter from voting at their polling place, and this information will become a public record.

If the ballot is being picked up by the voter's designee, then that designee must provide to the Supervisor of Elections a photo ID and the written authorization by the voter. The person must then complete an affidavit affirming that they are authorized by the voter to pick up the ballot for them, and the person will indicate on the affidavit whether the person is a member of the voter's immediate family and, if so, how they are related.

The absentee ballot will be counted so long as it is returned in person to the Supervisor's office by 7:00pm.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 101.62(4)(c) [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.67(2) [link]

Are lists of people who vote absentee by mail published? How?

A list of people who requested an absentee ballot is maintained, but information from that list can be requested only by a voter who requested an absentee ballot, a canvassing board, an election official, a political party, a candidate who has filed qualification papers and is opposed in an upcoming election, and registered political committees. The information can be used for political purposes only. A voter who requested an absentee ballot can access only the information related to their own request, and they must obtain that information directly from their county Supervisor of Elections. The other entities mentioned above can access the entire list, and the application for them to gain access is available online here.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Application to Obtain Absentee Ballot Request Information [link]

Fla. Admin. Code r. 1S-2.043(4) [link]

Florida Early Voting Reports website [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.62(3) [link]

Presidential-only ballots

Under federal law, any registered voter who moves out of the state after the 30th day before a Presidential election may vote for President and Vice President either in person at the voter’s previous state of residence or using an absentee ballot from the voter’s previous state of residence.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

52 U.S.C. § 10502(e) [link]

Absentee Voting for Military and Overseas Voters

Who is eligible for military/overseas absentee voting?

The following voters are eligible for military/overseas absentee voting:

  • A member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, merchant marine, commissioned corps of the Public Health Service, or the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who is absent from their home because they are on active duty, and that member's spouse and dependents.
  • A person who lives outside of the United States and who is otherwise qualified to vote in the last place they lived before leaving the country
Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 97.021(2), (23), (39) [link]

How do voters apply for a military/overseas ballot?

Military and overseas voters may request an absentee ballot (and apply for voter registration, if needed) using a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) or by using the same request process as domestic absentee voters (see section above on Absentee Voting by Mail). However, unlike domestic voters, military and overseas voters do not need to make the request in writing even if they request that the absentee ballot be sent to an address that is different from their voter registration address.

When requesting the ballot, a military or overseas voter may indicate whether they'd like the ballot sent to them by forwardable mail, fax, or e-mail. If the voter does not indicate a preference, then the ballot will be mailed to them.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 101.62(1)(a)-(b), (4)(c) [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.694(1) [link]

Deadline to apply for a military/overseas ballot

A request for an absentee ballot to be mailed must be received by the Supervisor of Elections no later than 5 p.m. on the 6th day before an election.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 101.62(2) [link]

Deadline to return the military/overseas ballot

Generally, the ballot must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day. However, for ballots submitted by voters who live outside of the country in a presidential preference primary or a general election, the ballot will be counted so long as the ballot is postmarked or dated no later than Election Day and the ballot is received within 10 days after Election Day. Stateside military voters are not eligible for this extension.

For voters who live out of the country, the ballot may be returned by mail, fax, in person, or through another person on the voter's behalf. For stateside military voters, the ballot may be returned by mail, in person, or through another person on the voter's behalf, but not by fax.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Florida Secretary of State Rule 1S-2.013(7) [link]

Fla. Admin. Code r. 1S-2.030 [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.67(2) [link]

Who is eligible to use a write-in absentee ballot? How does it work?

Florida allows voters who are living outside of the country (but not stateside military voters) who applied for but have not yet received an absentee ballot to use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) for voting in any federal, state, or local election. A voter who submits a federal write-in absentee ballot and later receives an official absentee ballot may submit the official absentee ballot. An voter who submits a federal write-in absentee ballot and later receives and submits an official absentee ballot should make every reasonable effort to inform their supervisor of elections that they have submitted more than one ballot.

Additionally, in a general election, a voter living outside of the country (but not a stateside military voter) may request a state write-in absentee ballot from their supervisor of elections by stating that due to military or other contingencies that prevent normal mail delivery, the voter cannot vote an absentee ballot during the normal absentee voting period. These ballots are available 90-180 days before the election.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 101.6951 [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.6952(2)(a), (3)(a) [link]

On Election Day

Where do you vote in person?

Where do you vote in person?

At the polling place for the precinct where the voter is registered to vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 101.001 [link]

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?

What hours are the polls open on Election Day?

7am - 7pm local time (some parts of Florida are in the eastern time zone, while others are in the central time zone). Voters waiting in line to vote at 7pm are allowed to cast their vote.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 100.011(1) [link]

In the Voting Booth

Are there rules about what materials a voter can and cannot bring into the voting booth?

Inside of an early voting place or a polling place on Election Day and within 100 feet of it, no person can solicit any vote, fact, opinion, or contribution; distribute any political or campaign material, leaflet, or handout; conduct a poll except for an exit poll; seek a signature on any petition; or sell any item. Persons also cannot take photographs within the polling place.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 102.031 [link]

Can a voter bring children into the voting booth with them?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 102.031(3)(a)(5) [link]

Are employers required to give employees time off to vote?

Are employers required to give employees time off to vote?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Project Vote Smart [link]

Campaigning, Electioneering, and Recording Devices

Are there restrictions on campaigning/electioneering during early voting/absentee in-person voting?

Inside of an early voting place and within 100 feet of it, no person can solicit any vote, fact, opinion, or contribution; distribute any political or campaign material, leaflet, or handout; conduct a poll except for an exit poll; seek a signature on any petition; or sell any item. Persons also cannot take photographs within the polling place.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 102.031 [link]

Are there restrictions on campaigning/electioneering on Election Day?

Inside of a polling place and within 100 feet of it, no person can solicit any vote, fact, opinion, or contribution; distribute any political or campaign material, leaflet, or handout; conduct a poll except for an exit poll; seek a signature on any petition; or sell any item. Persons also cannot take photographs within the polling place.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Fla. Stat. § 102.031 [link]

Can a voter wear a button or t-shirt with a candidate's name or logo on it into the polling place when they vote?

Yes. Voters may wear campaign buttons, shirts, hats, or any other campaign items when they enter the polling place to vote; voters may not otherwise campaign there.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-09)

Polling Place Procedures Manual (see page 9 of PDF file) [link]

Fla. Admin. Code r. 1S-2.034 [link]

*NEW 1** Can a voter use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) inside the polling place or voting booth?

Yes, but a voter cannot use their phone to take photos. No photography by any means is allowed in the polling room or early voting area.

Source (confirmed on: 10/9/2016)

Fla. Stat. § 102.031(5) [link]

Polling Place Procedures Manual s. 1S-2.034 [link]

*NEW 2** Can a voter use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) outside the polling place but within the zone around the polling place where campaigning/electioneering is banned?

State law does not address this issue. Local practices may vary.

Source (confirmed on: 10/14/2016)

Polling Place Procedures Manual s. 1S-2.034 [link]

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0100-0199/0102/Sections/0102.031.html [link]

Who's at the Polls?

Can persons other than election workers observe inside the polls?

Yes.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 101.131 [link]

What are observers inside the polls called in the state?

Poll watchers.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 101.131 [link]

Does the state establish requirements to observe inside the polls?

Yes. Each political party, candidate, and political committe formed specifcally for the purpose of expressly advocating the passage or defeat of a ballot issue may appoint one poll watcher for each polling room or early voting area at any one time during the election. Designation of poll watchers must be made by the chair of the county executive committee of a political party, the chair of a political committee, or the candidate requesting to have poll watchers. To designate people as watchers for Election Day, the political party, candidate, or political committee must submit the names of the watchers in writing (using an official form) to the Supervisor of Elections before noon on the second Tuesday before the election. Designations of poll watchers for early voting areas must be submitted in writing to the Supervisor of Elections (using an official form) before noon at least 14 days before early voting begins. The poll watchers for Election Day polling rooms will be approved by the Supervisor of Eelections on or before the Tuesday before the election. Poll watchers for early voting areas will be approved by the supervisor of elections no later than 7 days before early voting begins. The Supervisor must furnish to each election board a list of the poll watchers designated and approved for such polling rooms or early voting areas.

To be designated as a poll watcher, a person must be a qualified and registered elector of the county in which they serve. No candidate or sheriff, deputy sheriff, police officer, or other law enforcement officer may be designated as a poll watcher.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 101.131 [link]

*NEW 3* Can a poll observer use a digital or recording device (such as a cell phone or camera) in the polling place?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 10/9/2016)

1S-2.034 (Polling Place Procedures Manual) [link]

Are there other rules on what poll observers can or cannot do?

No watcher may come closer to the officials’ table or the voting booths than is reasonably necessary to properly perform their functions, but watchers are otherwise allowed within the polling room or early voting area to watch and observe the conduct of electors and officials. The poll watchers must furnish their own materials and necessities, and they must not obstruct the orderly conduct of any election. The poll watchers must pose any questions regarding polling place procedures directly to the clerk for resolution. They may not interact with voters. Watchers must wear an official identification badge at all times, and watchers cannot wear or display any campaign materials (including buttons, t-shirts, etc.)

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Polling Place Procedures Manual (see page 6 of PDF file) [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.131 [link]

Fla. Admin. Code r. 1S-2.034 [link]

Provisional Voting and Voters at the Wrong Polling Place

When should a voter be offered a provisional ballot?

Under Section 203 of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, if a person claims to be a registered voter in the jurisdiction in which the person desires to vote and the person claims to be eligible to vote in a federal election, but the person’s name does not appear on the official list of eligible voters for the polling place or an election official asserts that the person is not eligible to vote, then that person must be permitted to cast a provisional ballot at that polling place. The person may cast the provisional ballot after executing, before an election official at the polling place, a written affirmation stating that the person is (1) a registered voter in the jurisdiction, and (2) eligible to vote in that election.

Additionally, any person who votes in a federal election as a result of a federal or state court order, or any other order extending the time established for closing the polls by a state law in effect 10 days before the date of that election, may only vote in that election by casting a provisional ballot. Any such ballot cast must be separated and held apart from other provisional ballots cast for different reasons.

Under a state law, the following voters should be offered a provisional ballot:

  • A person whose name is not on the precinct register and the poll worker is unable to verify whether or not the person is a registered voter of the state.
  • A person whose name is not on the precinct register and the poll worker verifies that the person is not registered in the state, but the person maintains that they areentitled to vote.
  • A registered voter who is not allowed to make an out-of-county address change at the polls.
  • A registered voter who is required but refuses to execute an address change on an affirmation or voter registration application in order to vote a regular ballot.
  • A voter whose name is on the precinct register with an indication that they have received an absentee ballot and the poll worker is unable to verify whether the absentee ballot has been returned to the supervisor of elections.
  • A voter whose name is on the precinct register with an indication that they have received an absentee ballot and the poll worker confirms that the supervisor of elections has received the voted absentee ballot, but the voter maintains that they have not returned the absentee ballot.
  • A voter whose name is on the precinct register with an indication that they voted early but the voter maintains they have not already voted in this election.
  • A person whose name is not on the precinct register and who has completed either the change of name or change of residence affirmation but the poll worker is unable to verify whether the person is a registered voter of the state.
  • A voter who does not produce an acceptable form of photo ID with signature or a photo ID and a signature ID.
  • A voter whose Florida driver’s license number or Florida identification card number, or the last 4 digits of the Social Security number has not been verified.
  • A person whose signature on the precinct register, electronic device or early voting certificate differs from that on the identification presented and the person refuses to complete a signature affidavit.
  • A voter whose identity is in question based on the photo identification provided.
  • A voter who has been challenged, except when the voter can update their address at the polls to resolve the challenge
  • A voter who votes on or after the normal poll closing time pursuant to a court or other order extending the polling hours.
  • Any person whose eligibility to vote cannot be verified.
Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Admin. Code r. 1S-2.034 [link]

52 U.S.C. § 21082 (federal law) [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.048 [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.049 [link]

Polling Place Procedures Manual (see pages 17 and 18 of PDF file) [link]

If a voter casts a provisional ballot at the wrong precinct, will the ballot be counted?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 101.048(2)(b)(2) [link]

Following up on a provisional ballot

A person who casts a provisional ballot because election officials could not verify the voter's Florida driver's license card number, Florida state identification card number, or the last four digits of the voter's social security card number must bring their driver's license or Florida state identificaiton card in person to the Supervisor of Election's office, or provide a copy of the card to the Supervisor by mail, fax, or e-mail, no later than 5:00pm on the second day after the election.

All other voters who cast a provisional ballot may, but are not required to, present evidence of their right to vote to the Supervisor of Election by 5:00pm on the second day after the election.

If a person votes a provisional ballot solely because they did not have the proper photo and signature identification, the person do not have to provide any further evidence. The provisional ballot will be counted if the signature on the provisional ballot certificate matches the signature on the voter's registration record and if the voter cast the ballot in the proper precinct.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 101.048(1) [link]

Fla. Admin. Code r. 1S-2.037(2)(b) [link]

Finding out if a provisional ballot was counted

A voter who casts a provisional ballot will be given written instructions by election officials at the polling place or early voting place on how they can find out if their provisional ballot was counted and, if it was not counted, the reasons why.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 101.048(5)-(6) [link]

Ballot Shortages/Voting Machine Malfunctions

What is the law or procedure on emergency ballots if a polling place runs out of printed ballots? Are handwritten/photocopied ballots allowed?

When the required official ballots for a precinct are not delivered in time to be used on election day, or after delivery, they are lost, destroyed, or stolen, the clerk or other officials whose duty it is to provide ballots for use at such election must prepare substitute ballots that conform as nearly as possible to the official ballots.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 101.43 [link]

What is the law or procedure on emergency ballots if a voting machine breaks or malfunctions?

When the required official ballots for a precinct are not delivered in time to be used on election day, or after delivery, they are lost, destroyed, or stolen, the clerk or other officials whose duty it is to provide ballots for use at such election must prepare substitute ballots that conform as nearly as possible to the official ballots.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 101.43 [link]

Voter ID and Challenges

Voter ID

Who must show ID to vote?

All voters.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 101.043(1) [link]

Are there any special requirements for first-time voters?

Yes - a first-time voter who has registered by mail must provide a current utility bill, current bank statement, a paycheck, government check or voter's registration card [if proof of residence was not provided at the time of registration].

Source (confirmed on: 9/23/14)

What ID is acceptable?

Every voter will be asked to show a photo and signature identification at the polls. Voters may show any of the following forms of photo identification so long as it shows the name of the voter, it has a photo of the voter, and it is current and valid:

  • Florida driver's license
  • Florida identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
  • United States passport
  • Debit or credit card (must have a photo of the voter on it)
  • Military identification
  • Student identification
  • Retirement center identification
  • Neighborhood association identification
  • Public assistance identification

If a voter's photo identification does not contain their signature, they will be required to show an additional form of identification that provides their signature.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 101.043(1) [link]

Is a student ID an acceptable form of identification?

Yes, as long as it is current and valid and has the voter's name and photo. If it does not have a signature, additional identification with a signature is required.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 101.043 [link]

Does the address on the ID have to match the address at which the voter is registered?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2014-07-22)

Fla. Stat. § 101.043(1)(b) [link]

If a voter has no ID, are there alternatives such as an oath or witness?

If a voter cannot present acceptable identification, they may vote a provisional ballot. The voter will not need to provide any further documentation after the election; the provisional ballot will count so long as the voter's signature on the provisional ballot certificate matches the signature in the voter's registration record and the voter cast the ballot in their precinct.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Admin. Code r. 1S-2.037(1)(b)(3) [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.048(2) [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.043(2) [link]

Do elections without federal offices on the ballot (such as off-year gubernatorial elections) have different ID requirements?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 101.043(1) [link]

Challenges to Voters at the Polling Place

Who can challenge a voter at the polling place?

Any registered voter or poll watcher of a county may challenge the right of a person to vote in that county.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 101.657(4)(b) [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.111(1)(a) [link]

What are the allowed reasons on which a voter can be challenged at the polling place?

There are no specific limits as to what may be stated in a written challenge other than that the challenge must assert that the voter is "attempting to vote illegally."

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 101.111(1)(a) [link]

Is there a requirement for the challenger to provide cause or evidence?

The challenger must state in writing the reasons they believe that the challenged voter is attempting to vote illegaly.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 101.111(2) [link]

How does a voter defend their eligibility to vote if they are challenged?

A person challenged because they are not registered to vote in the precinct where they are voting may update their registration record with their new address if either (1) the voter moved to a new address within the same county, or (2) the voter moved to a new county and that county uses an electronic pollbook. Otherwise, a voter challenged because they are not registered to vote in the precinct will be directed to vote in their correct prcinct. All other challenged voters will have to vote a provisional ballot. The voter may choose to go to the Supervisor of Election's office and present evidence of their eligibility by 5pm on the 2nd day following Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 101.045 [link]

Fla. Stat. § 101.111(1)(b) [link]

What are the restrictions on polling place challenges?

Challenges are permitted at the polls on Election Day.

Source (confirmed on: 2014-7-22)

Fla. Stat. § 101.111(1)(a) [link]

State and Local Election Officials

The State Election Authority

Who/what is the state election authority?

Secretary of State

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Florida Division of Elections About Us [link]

Fla. Stat. § 97.012 [link]

Current official

Ken Detzner

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

About the Secretary [link]

E-mail

DivElections@dos.state.fl.us

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Contact the Division of Elections [link]

Phone

(850) 245-6200

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Contact the Division of Elections [link]

Address

Department of State, Division of Elections
Director's Office, Room 316
R. A. Gray Building
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Contact the Division of Elections [link]

Local Election Authorities

What local election official(s) are in charge of major state-level elections (such as the even-year November general elections)?

Supervisor of Elections

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Florida Constitution Article VIII, Section 1(d) [link]

What is the county-level election official?

Supervisor of Elections.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Florida Constitution Article VIII, Section 1(d) [link]

What is the municipal-level election official?

City Clerk; In some instances, the city clerk may have a role in local elections. They can act as the qualifying officer and may actually conduct a municipal election, but the supervisor of elections is the only official that can provide the registration records necessary for that election.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Fla. Stat. § 101.002 [link]

Contact information for local election authorities

Click here.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Contact Your Supervisor of Elections [link]

The Voter File

Voter File Basics

National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) Disclosure Law

Section 8 of the federal NVRA requires that each State maintain for at least 2 years and make available for public inspection and, where available, photocopying at a reasonable cost, all records concerning the implementation of programs and activities conducted for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy and currency of official lists of eligible voters, except to the extent that such records contain information about a person declining to register to vote or information about the identity of a voter registration agency through which a particular voter might have chosen to register.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

52 U.S.C. § 20507 [link]

Acquiring a Voter File

Under state procedure, who may acquire a voter file?

Anyone may request a voter file. Voter registration and voting history information of Florida voters is public record under Florida law. A monthly extract file is generated with voter registration and voter history information.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Voter Registration and History Extract File Request [link]

Fla. Stat. § 98.0981 [link]

Who is the state-level contact for acquiring a voter file?

Florida Department of State, Division of Elections ATTN: Katrinia Ferguson The R.A. Gray Building 500 South Bronough Street, Room 316 Tallahassee, FL 32399-0250 Phone: 850.245.6237 Email: Katrinia.Ferguson@dos.myflorida.com

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Voter Registration and History Extract File Request [link]

Fla. Stat. § 98.0981 [link]

How much does the state charge for the file?

Electronic files do not have a fee.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Voter Registration and History Extract File Request [link]

Fla. Stat. § 98.0981 [link]

What format is the file available in?

The file is available electronically as a tab-delimited ASCII text file format that can be opened by a wide variety of computer programs, preferably Microsoft Access.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Voter Registration and History Extract File Request [link]

Fla. Stat. § 98.0981 [link]

Use of the Voter File

Does the state have restrictions on commercial use of the voter file?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Voter Registration and History Extract File Request [link]

Fla. Stat. § 98.0981 [link]

Does the state have restrictions on commercial use of the voter file?

No.

Source (confirmed on: 2016-03-11)

Voter Registration and History Extract File Request [link]

Fla. Stat. § 98.0981 [link]