Protect Your Vote: What You Need to Know to Vote in Florida

Oct 02 2012 Published by under Featured News

Republicans are doing all they can to suppress the vote everywhere they can.  The effort to suppress the vote is especially intense in Florida.  Aside from Rick Scott’s purge lists, voter ID laws, restrictions on registering to vote and early voting, Nathan Sproul’s Strategic Allied Consulting  was doing its part for the Republican Party with its tried and true voter registration fraud program.  Though Strategic Allied Consulting  was stopped after one of its employees presented the Palm Beach County Supervisor with 106 questionable voter registration forms; it remains important to register to vote with credible places.

Lawsuits challenging Rick Scott’s,  voter suppression program have, for the most part been successful. Cases that have gone before the courts struck down elements of the voter suppression program, because they violated the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Despite a settlement agreement for one of the legal challenges to his purge lists, the State’s Secretary of State continues to compromise the voter rolls by issuing more purge lists.

The Florida’s Secretary of State, together with True the Vote are working to have eligible voters kicked off the rolls on the tiniest details.  If that doesn’t work, they will use the smallest detail to challenge votes and of course, if True to Vote  is true to its form, it is all but a guarantee that they will engage in voter intimidation.

In Florida, the deadline for registering to vote or updating your information is 29 days prior to Election Day, which for the General Election this year is October 9th.

Your Registration Date is the date your completed application is postmarked, or delivered in person to one of the following locations.

Any Supervisor of Elections’ office in the state

A driver’s license office

A voter registration agency, including an armed forced recruitment office, public library, or the Division of Elections.

If you are not registered to vote and are eligible to do so under the criteria set out below, it is crucial that you register and that you do it through a mechanism that is reputable.

  • Be a Citizen of the United States of America (a lawful permanent resident is not a U.S. citizen);
  • Be a Florida resident;
  • Be 18 years old (you may pre-register to vote if you are 16 years old, but you cannot vote until you are 18 years old).
  • Not now be adjudicated mentally incapacitated with respect to voting in Florida or any other state without having the right to vote restored;
  • Not have been convicted of a felony without your civil rights having been restored; and
  • Provide your current and valid Florida driver’s license  number or Florida identification card number. If you do not have a Florida driver’s license number or a Florida identification card number then you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security Number. If you do not have any of these items, you must write “none” in the box or field.

You can either complete an application on line here.  While you can print a hard copy of the application for your records, you should be aware that you cannot save the information provided in the online application.  You can also complete a downloadable Voter Registration application form here.

It is just as important to confirm that you are registered and that your information is accurate. You can confirm your information at Department of State’s Division of elections here.  You will be need to provide your first and last names and your birthdate.  You will also have to agree to the following, by clicking on the check box.

This Voter Look-up website is intended for use by the individual voter to determine his or her voter registration status and other information relating to voting. Access or attempted access to information that is exempt from public disclosure other than to you as the voter may subject you to criminal prosecution or civil liability.

If any of your information has changed since the last election, or the information is incorrect, you will need to update your registration.

If you have moved within a Florida county since the last election, you need to notify your Supervisor of elections.  You can make the address change by phone, in person or with written notice, such as completing a voter registration form.

If you relocated from another state or have moved to a different county in Florida, you must complete a voter registration form.

You can change your party affiliation by any signed written notice such as a voter registration application. It must include your date of birth or voter registration number.

If your name has changed because of marriage or another legal process, you can submit the change by written notice, such as the voter registration application.  The written notice must include your birth date or your voter registration number.

If you need to replace your Registration Card, you must submit a completed Voter Registration Application.

Florida’s division of elections also mentions “signature updates” as information that needs to be updated, stating the following:

 You must submit signature updates using the voter registration application. In order for the signature updates to be used for signature comparisons in canvassing absentee and provisional ballots, the update must be received before canvassing of absentee ballots begins. Canvassing may begin as early as 15 days before an election.

After you have printed out the application and signed it, it has to be mailed, with a first class stamp, to your county Supervisero of Elections.    You may also opt to mail or hand deliver the application to:

  • Any Supervisor  of Elections office in the state
  • a driver’s license office
  •  a voter registration agency, an armed forces recruitment office, or the Division of Elections.

If the change is made, you will receive an updated voter information card in the mail.  Please make sure the information on your card is accurate, and confirm it again on line  at Department of State’s Division of elections here.  If you have questions, you should call your Supervisor of Elections.

Florida law requires you to present one of the following valid, updated photo ID’s to vote.

  • · Florida driver’s license
  • · Florida identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
  • · United States passport
  • · Debit or credit card
  • · Military identification
  • · Student identification
  • · Retirement center identification
  • · Neighborhood association identification
  • · Public assistance identification.

If your photo ID does not include a signature, you will be asked to provide an additional piece of identification that does contain a signature.

If you don’t have a valid ID with a signature, you will get a provisional ballot.  The ballot will be counted if your signature matches the one on your voter registration application.

Make sure you know where your poll place is.  You can find your poll place here.

In Florida, you do not need to be absent from your county or have another reason to vote with an Absentee Ballot.  However, you must request the ballot by contacting your Supervisor of Elections in person, by telephone, by mail or with an online request form available at your County’s Supervisor of Elections website.  You can also ask for an Absentee Ballot by other forms of written request.

For example, military members and their family can make the request by email.  Overseas citizens only may also make the request by federal postcard and absentee application (FPCA))

You can find further information on Absentee Ballots at this link.

Don’t let the Republicans steal the election by stealing your vote!

Image from Local 10.com

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