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Be Prepared, Be Heard

With the presidential election just weeks away, numerous voters are still reluctant to vote at polling stations in-person due concerns tied to the pandemic.

A lack of information regarding voting regulations prevents many students from exercising their right to vote as well. Understanding the statewide voting requirements for your vote to count and your voice to be heard is imperative.

Here are six educational tips on what to know before entering the polls or voting by mail in Florida.

1. Know when to register.

You will need some form of identification for voter registration, be it a driver’s license, U.S. passport, student or work ID, utility bill, or bank statement verifying your address. If you are registering to vote for the first time, there may be a deadline for your state. Even if that deadline has passed, you can call and ask to get more information if you see fit.

2. Know where to register.

You should be able to register to vote through your state elections office either in person or by mail. The elections personnel in your state or their website should have details on the place you can register. They may include your local library or post office, for example.

3. Decide early how you would like to vote.

Each state has an early voting period, and you should find out what the window is for your state. You may have an opportunity to vote without dealing with the sizable crowds many find on Election Day, which is Nov. 3.

4. Know how you can vote.

If you already requested a mail-in ballot, you have the option to turn it in physically to your local polling station but do so as soon as possible. If you choose to return your ballot through the mail — after requesting a mail-in ballot — try to get in the mail as soon as you can to ensure it is accounted for election day.

5. Know when you can vote.

The process for obtaining a mail-in ballot varies by locality, as does the deadline to request one. Polls will be open on Election Day, so if you plan on voting in-person, you’ll need to find out the hours your polling place will be open. Poll workers will allow those in line prior to the closing of the polls to vote regardless of wait time. Dates and hours may vary based on your location/district.

6. Ask questions early.

Visit VoteAmerica.com for more information on registration or contact the foremost authority in youR city or county. That’ll be the local registrar or supervisor of elections, who should be able to provide you all of the information you need.


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