Here's Everything You Need To Know About Voting In The November General Election
Have questions about vote by mail? Wondering where you can drop off your ballot? Want to update your signature? We've got you covered.
This post was updated Monday, Oct. 19, at 2 p.m.
Election Day is Nov. 3 but we know that many folks will be taking advantage of early voting and voting by mail. And with that comes a lot of questions that we want to answer for you before you head to the polls, mail in your ballot or drop it off to election workers.
We've also put together information on sample ballots in each county across South Florida.
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And given the steady interest in mail ballots, and the big role they're playing across South Florida, we wanted to break down everything you need to know about requesting a vote-by-mail ballot, where you can drop them off, and how to “cure” a ballot issue if it comes up.
Have a specific question? Click the links below to learn more.
- What's the deadline to request a mail ballot?
- Where can I find early voting locations and sites?
- How can I track my ballot status?
- How do I fix an issue with my ballot?
Where can I find my sample ballot?
Each supervisor of elections office in South Florida has a landing page where you can check the sample ballot for your area by entering your name, address and date of birth. You can find them below:
And here's a general sample ballot for each county in South Florida:
How do I request a mail ballot?
If you’re already registered you can request a ballot in your county for just the Nov. 3 election or for all elections moving forward (which could include upcoming local elections in your municipality depending on where you live).
All four South Florida counties allow you to request your ballot online but you can also request one via email, fax, phone or in the mail.
Here’s where you can find the information on making that request in each county:
What’s the deadline?
The deadline, according to state guidelines, is that requests have to come in by 5 p.m. on the tenth day before the election — that’s Oct. 24 for the upcoming November general.
And that's whether you complete the request online, via email, in-person or via fax (if that’s your preference).
And that 5 p.m. deadline isn't a postmark deadline, so if you choose to mail in your request you have to make sure to do it with enough time so it arrives at the elections department by 5 p.m. on Oct. 24.
So don't delay if you choose to mail in your vote-by-mail request.
Can I drop my ballot off at an early voting location before Election Day?
Yep, you can do that. Just find the vote-by-mail box at your local early voting precinct and drop it off with a staffer there. Also, be sure to have your ID handy.
Early voting begins Oct. 19 across South Florida, with some variation on scheduling and end dates. Here's a look at the early voting locations and schedules in South Florida:
What about on Election Day?
Yes, but there’s one major wrinkle — you can’t drop it off at a polling precinct. It has to be at one of your local Supervisor of Elections offices.
Here's where you can drop them off on Nov. 3:
- Elections headquarters: 115 S. Andrews Ave., Room 102 in Fort Lauderdale.
- Election headquarters: 2700 NW 87th Ave. in Doral
- Government center: 111 NW 1st St. in Miami
- North Dade Regional Library: 2455 NW 183rd St. in Miami Gardens
- South Dade Regional Library: 10750 SW 211 St. in Cutler Bay
- 530 Whitehead St. #101 in Key West
- 10015 Overseas Hwy. in Marathon
- 102050 Overseas Hwy #137 in Key Largo
- Palm Beach (NOTE: The West Palm Beach main office will be open until 7 p.m. on Election Day, the others will close at 5 p.m.)
- Elections headquarters: 240 South Military Trail in West Palm Beach
- North county branch office: 3188 PGA Blvd., Room #2401 in Palm Beach Gardens
- South county branch office: 345 South Congress Ave., Room #103 in Delray Beach
- West county branch office: 2976 State Road #15, second floor in Belle Glade
Can I request a ballot and then not use it?
Yes. You can still decide you want to vote in person at the last minute.
And if you decide to change your mind, make sure you bring your mail ballot with you when you vote so the elections department can confirm that you didn't send it in and cancel your mail ballot.
Additionally, you can't bring in your filled-out ballot as a guide for the in-person voting process. If you want a reference point, you can either print or bring in a filled-out sample ballot or pull up a sample ballot on your phone.
And how do I track the status of my mail ballot?
You can do that through your county's supervisor of elections website by entering your voter information at the following links:
What if there’s an issue with my ballot?
The most common issue is usually that someone forgot to include a signature on their mail ballot or that their signature doesn’t match the one the supervisor of elections has on file.
If you’re not sure about your signature or if you haven’t voted by mail in awhile, or ever, you can request an update to your signature just to make sure it matches up with your current autograph. Here’s the form.
And if an issue still arises, don’t worry, you can fix or “cure” those issues with your ballot. You have until the second day after the election by 5 p.m. — so Nov. 5 in the case of this upcoming election — to submit an affidavit to fix your ballot issues.
Your local elections department should reach out to you via phone, email or regular mail to let you know if there’s been an issue, and they’ll also send you an affidavit request form.
But if you end up in that situation and don’t wanna chance it, here are the affidavit request forms for each county:
What if my address is different than when I initially requested my mail-in ballot?
Then you have to request an update to your address. You can do that by sending a request to your county’s supervisor of elections office.
OK, but what if I move between when I got my mail-in ballot and Election Day? Can I still drop my ballot off if my address isn’t updated?
Yes, but remember, you can only drop it off at a polling place during early voting. If you do it on Election Day, it has to be at an elections office. And if you want to switch your ballot to your new address, see the question above.
Have any other questions about voter registration, voting by mail, or about the election in general? Email us at email@example.com.