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USA Election 2020: where can I vote in Florida?

Election Day 2020 is fast approaching with record numbers turning out to cast their votes for President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden. Here is how you can vote in Florida.

Update:
U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally at at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport in Opa-Locka, Florida, U.S., November 2, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
CARLOS BARRIAREUTERS

As of Sunday morning, 8.7 million Floridians had already cast votes early, either in-person or through the mail. That's about 91 percent of the votes cast four years ago. In still uncounted totals, Democrats held a roughly 94,000 advantage over Republicans. Democrats had built up a sizable lead in vote-by-mail, but Republicans have outgained Democrats during in-person early voting.

The Sunshine State is one of the most important battlegrounds this election and President Donald Trump was in Palm Beach County last 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 voting in Florida.

Where can I vote 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 masks 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.

Your vote needs to have been received by the election office before 7pm EST on Election Day, Tuesday 3 November.

How many votes did Trump get in Florida in the 2016 presidential election?

One of the decisive victories in Donald Trump’s road to the White House came in Florida where he beat Hillary Clinton by less than a single percentage point. The President picked up 4,617,886 votes to secure a 48.6% vote share, while the Democratic candidate’s 4,504,975 votes left her with 47.4%.

Why is Florida so important in the 2020 presidential election?

There are 29 Electoral College votes on offer in Florida and securing them would be a major step toward the White House for the victor. The state has a built a reputation as the king-maker in recent elections, backing the winning candidate in every race since 1996.

A recent CBS News poll found that just 3% of Florida’s likely voters think they could change their mind in the build-up to the election, meaning the margin of error for the candidates is wafer-thin. Rather than trying to swing some already decided voters it seems like both campaigns are simply looking to maximise their turnout in the final days. Over $250 million has been spent on TV ads in that one state alone and the outcome looks crucial in deciding the next president.

Will Trump win Florida 2020?

With such a narrow lead in the previous election there is very little margin for the President and, as was the case four years ago, he goes into the final stretch as underdog. A series of recent polls have Biden ahead in Florida with an expected margin of between three and six percentage points. However although the studies by Monmouth University, Quinnipiac University and NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist College make pleasant reading for Democrats, each one has Biden’s advantage within their margin of error.

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