Early voting in Florida: when will it end and where can I vote?
Election Day is fast approaching and record numbers are turning out to cast their votes for President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden.
Florida has experienced record-breaking numbers of early votes in the build up to Election Day 2020 with state data from Friday morning suggesting that over 4.7 million residents had already cast their vote. That is roughly half of the entire turnout recorded in Florida four years ago.
The Sunshine State is one of the most important battlegrounds this election and President Donald Trump was in Palm Beach County on Saturday morning to cast his ballot. As we reach the final stretch of this highly unusual election campaign, here’s everything you need to know about early voting in Florida.
When does early voting finish in Florida?
Floridians hoping to dodge the queues and get their vote in early will definitely need to do so before Election Day but the exact date varies across the state. By law the early voting period must last for at least eight days, with a mandatory early voting period from 24 – 31 October.
However some counties stay open for longer than those requirements. If you want to know when Florida early voting ends in your area this page contains full details on all of Florida’s voting centres, listing the opening and closing times on each day of early voting.
What are the rules for absentee voting?
The deadline to register for early voting is Saturday 24 October but if you are unable to get to a voting station on Election Day it is not too late to request an absentee ballot. You can register as an absentee voter until Saturday 31 October.
Anyone with an absentee ballot will benefit from one of the latest ballot return deadlines in the country. Your vote needs to have been received by the election office before 7pm EST on Election Day, Tuesday 3 November. This applies whether you cast your absentee ballot in person or by mail.
Where can I vote early in Florida?
As the third-most populous state in the US, Florida has plenty of places for you to cast your vote in the 2020 presidential election. To find the nearest voting station in your county, the Florida Department of State website has this helpful checker which should point you to your best options.
When you arrive you will likely be asked to provide a valid photo ID with a signature. If you are unable to provide a suitable ID in person you are still entitled to cast a provisional ballot i.e. one that will be counted if the signature you give on the day matches the one on your voter registration record.
Aside from the ID, face coverings are required in voting centres and it is advised that you bring anything you may need if you have to wait in a queue. Many centres in Florida have reported exceptionally large numbers utilising early voting so it is important to make sure you are able to wait in line safely. It might be worth checking the weather forecast too.