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US Election 2020: when does early voting start in Florida? 

With an election year like no other covid-19 is making people ask how they will cast their vote. This is what voters need to know ahead of the presidential election.

A woman wears a mask with a message urging voter participation while she waits in line to enter a polling place

Floridians are already voting via mail-in ballots but for voters who prefer to cast their vote in-person early voting will begin soon, depending where you live it may be 19 October. Every county in Florida can choose when in-person early voting can begin but by state law it is required at least 10 prior to the election and finish 3 days before election day, meaning 24 October – 31 October. To check when and where you can vote early check the official Florida information.

Whether you plan to vote early or on election day, a good idea to save time and make your vote count to its fullest is to check a sample ballot before heading off to your voting place. If you aren’t aware of the issues or politicians on the ballot you can find information at ballotpedia here.

What do I need in order to vote early?

First and foremost, make sure that you are registered to vote. You can check your registration status with the state here. If you haven't voted for a while you may have ended up on the inactive voter list, or even have been removed from the voter roll, to learn more check this link.

The primary items you will want to bring with you are a valid photo identification with a signature, check what is valid here. If you don’t have ID with you, you can still turn in a provisional ballot, the state will check your signature with your voter registration.

Besides the before mentioned you may want to make plans ahead of time for what you want with you should you encounter any long lines. Think about the weather, will you need to charge you devices or will you need a chair to rest in.

Can I still register to vote?

Voter registration has ended in Florida for the 2020 general election. It had been extended to 6 October when the voter registration system crashed on the last day. Nevertheless, you can register to vote now to be on the rolls for any future elections.

Do I have to vote in person?

Not necessarily. As mentioned before many Floridians have already chosen to vote by mail this year due to the covid-19 pandemic. The deadline for a ballot request to be received is 24 October and the returned ballot must be received by 7:00 p.m. on 3 November. However due to slowdowns in the US Post Service it is recommended to get everything done as soon as possible.


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