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Florida Early Voting Starts Today, October 19, 2020 (Florida Voting Information)

I just came back from early voting my mail-in ballot. It was quick.

How to Register to Vote?

You can register to vote if you’re over 18 via usa.gov/register-to-vote. You can also find information at rockthevote.com. 

You can also find voter registration deadlines and video guides for new voters at the website provided above. 

How to request a mail-in ballot (in Broward County)

Earlier this year, via the Broward County Supervisor of Election website, I requested mail in ballots for all elections until 2022.  The website to the Broward County Supervisor of Election website is www.browardsoe.com

How can you request a mail in ballot if you don’t live in Broward County? Do a quick google search with the name of your county and “request mail in ballots” (For example, Google Search: Monroe County Request Mail-In Ballots). That search should bring up information or at least lead you to your county’s supervisor of election website where you’ll find instructions on how to vote via mail, early and on election day. 

How can I vote?

There are many ways to vote.

Election Day, In Person Voting

First you can vote on election day, November 3rd, in person at your designated polling location. 

Story Time: The first time I voted, I voted in person, on election day. I was so proud and so very excited. However, this was the last time I voted in person on election day. The line was long. It’s hot in November in South Florida. I remember waiting 3 hours to vote. There was no shade in the line. Oh, did I mention the line was outside? Yea, it was. It wasn’t pleasant. The excitement quickly wore off as I felt I was in line for the Peter Pan ride in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Most Disney World goers know, the Peter Pan ride in the Magic Kingdom, is often a very long wait time for a 1 minute ride. It’s an amazing ride. 

Apologies. I digress. 

In Person, Early Voting

You have the option to vote early, in person. Please check your county’s voting website for early voting locations, dates and times. 

Mail-In Your Ballot 

Once you’ve received the mail in the ballot you requested, it is recommended you fill it out and return it as early as possible. You have two different options when filling out the mail in ballot. Once completed in blue or black ink, you can place your ballot in the envelope, seal it, sign it, date it and drop it off in the mail. Or you can…

Drop Off Your Ballot

Once the early voting becomes available in your area, you can drop off your ballot at any early voting location in your county.  

Personally, I enjoy this mail-in ballot option because you can fill out the ballot in a relaxed environment where you can google all the candidates and amendments. 

The news scared me into holding on to my mail-in ballot until early voting began because there were daily news stories that there were boxes of mail-in ballots being lost or stolen. I wanted my vote to count. I thought dropping off my own ballot in a ballot box early was the best way to ensure my vote counted. 

What if you messed up on your mail-in ballot?

There’s two options if you’ve messed up on your mail-in ballot. 

Which is exactly what I did this year. I filled out my ballot. You know, make a list and check it twice. When I checked mine twice, I realized I voted for the wrong guy. Yikes! I felt like such an idiot.  

No biggie. After I stopped beating myself up about it, because I’m human and we make mistakes, I called my county’s Supervisor of Elections office. I spoke to a very nice lady who helped me request a new mail-in ballot which I received within a week. 

To find your county’s supervisor of election office, you can google the name of your county following by “supervisor of elections” where you’ll find more information like there website and phone number. 

Please note this did happen about a month before the election where I had plenty of time to receive a new ballot, fill it out and return it. 

If the deadline to request a new mail-in ballot has passed your options now are to vote in person via early voting or on election day. 

How to check if my ballot was counted?

I know on the Broward County Supervisor of Election website (browardsoe.com) you can hop on your vote by mail status. On that site, you’ll need to click on “Check Your Vote-By-Mail Ballot Status red button on the top and middle of your screen. Then you will be redirected to another page where you’ll need to fill out your name and date of birth to check your status. 

Once you’ve entered your correct information, you will be redirected one more to where you can check if you’ve requested a ballot, if the Broward Supervisor of Election has mailed your ballot, if your ballot was received and finally you can see if your ballot was counted all on the same page. 

If your county doesn’t have a website where you can check the status of your ballot, you should call their office. Again, you can find the number by googling the name of the county you’re registered to vote in and “supervisor of elections” (for example, your google search could read: “Orange County Supervisor of Election”).

If you voted today at an early voting location with your mail-in ballot, I would check your status the next day. I asked a lovely poll worker today when you can see the status of your ballot, she said not until at least the following morning as the ballots are picked up every night. 

Do you have any questions on voting in your area? I can try to answer them or lead you to find the answes.

I hope this information helped you on your voting journey. 

Happy Voting everyone. Be safe. Wear your masks. Social distance. Take some water and a full battery on your cell phone while voting in person. 

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