Orlando, Florida. – Florida’s midterms don’t get the attention of voters that presidential elections do, but they’re no less important.
Voter turnout tends to trend lower for midterm elections, though 63% of voters went to the polls in 2018, the highest number since 1994, according to the Florida Division of Elections.
[RELATED: Everything you need to know about elections in Florida]
Florida voters in 2022 will decide whether Governor Ron DeSantis will remain in office, who should lead the Florida Legislature, who should represent them in the US Senate and House of Representatives, down to the county commissioner and the school board member.
Arguably, these races have a more direct impact on the daily lives of Floridians than presidential elections, with taxes, school curriculum and whether the roads you drive on should have tolls among the issues to be deliberated.
Therefore, it is important to make sure you can vote in Florida.
What you need to be eligible to vote
You are eligible to vote in Florida if:
Be a citizen of the United States of America
Be a legal resident of Florida
Be a legal resident of the county in which you wish to register
Be at least 16 years old to pre-register, or at least 18 years old to register and vote
Not be a person who has been declared mentally incapacitated with respect to voting in Florida or any other state without having the right to vote restored.
Not be a person convicted of a felony without having the right to vote restored
There are no set rules about what makes a legal resident in Florida. The most important thing is that you must have a house in the state. Also, your home address cannot be a PO Box.
How to register
There are a few ways to register to vote in Florida.
Florida has an online voter registration system. Go to Register to Vote Florida.gov. There you can register to vote, update your voter registration and check if you are registered. The site is available in English and Spanish.
Please note that if you do this, you must have a Florida driver’s license or state-issued Florida identification card.
You can also register to vote in person at the following offices:
At the driver’s license office
in a public library
At the Center for Independent Living
At WIC and DCF offices
At any election office supervisor
You can also print a copy of the voter registration application and mail it to your county supervisor of elections office.
To register for a paper application, you must have:
A Florida driver’s license or Florida identification card
OR The last four digits of your Social Security number
What is the deadline to register to vote?
To vote in an election, you must get your voter registration application 29 days before that election, a deadline known as “the book closes.” Here are the book closing dates for this year:
· November general elections: October 11
What if I am from another state?
If you are from another state, you must complete a new voter registration form for Florida. Your registration does not transfer from one state to another. You must make sure you are registered by the dates above in order to vote in a Florida election.
What if I am registered and want to update my registration (state address change, party affiliation change, etc.)?
Let’s say you need to change your address or want to change your party affiliation in order to vote in a partisan primary. If you have a driver’s license, you can do so online at Register to Vote Florida.gov.
You’ll need a Florida driver’s license or Florida ID card to make those changes; Otherwise, you will need to download a voter registration application and mail the changes to your county supervisor of elections office.
All changes to your record must also be ready before book close. Those are the dates mentioned above.
What if I am registered to vote, but haven’t voted in a while?
You may be considered an inactive voter. That is when a voter’s information cannot be verified and then an address verification letter is sent to them, but it is returned as “undeliverable.”
To go from being an inactive voter to an active voter, all you have to do is vote or contact your county supervisor of elections office.
Being an inactive voter does not prevent you from voting.
If you’re curious if your voter registration is active, you can go to Register to Vote Florida.gov and search for your registration under “Already Registered?”
What if I have been removed from the voter rolls by accident?
The Florida Division of Elections says voters are removed from the rolls if they are dead, not a U.S. citizen, not listed with a valid Florida registration, or have been disenfranchised due to a convicted of a felony or are considered to be mentally incompetent. , or a voter left the state and Florida election officials were notified. A voter may also be asked to remove themselves from the rolls.
If you believe you have been accidentally removed from the voter rolls, you should contact your county supervisor of elections office immediately and submit a new voter registration application.
I am a convicted felon who has completed his sentence. How do I restore my voting rights?
In Florida, certain felons who have completed their sentences can register to vote. Florida law requires offenders to complete any prison sentence and probation, in addition to paying all applicable court fees.
Once this is done, you can register to vote with a new voter registration application.
Not all criminals can automatically recover their rights. Felons convicted of violent felonies, for example, are not eligible. The county supervisor of elections office will not be able to tell you if you are eligible to vote based on your status as a returning citizen.
If you need help determining if you can register to vote, contact the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition at 407-901-3749.
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