TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The 2022 midterm election is here, and many voters living in the Tampa Bay area have already cast their ballots to make their voices heard on who they want representing them.
If you didn’t vote early or vote by mail, here’s what you need to know about Election Day:
How are you voting?
Voters in Florida have three options when it comes to making their voices heard in elections: Voting by mail, voting early or voting on Election Day.
Voting by mail has grown in popularity the past few years in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Many who signed up to receive mail ballots during the pandemic likely already received their ballots for the 2022 election. Ballots were sent by mail between Sept. 29 and Oct. 6.
If you received a mail ballot, it must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day. If you forgot to mail your ballot back, you can still drop it off at “secure ballot intake stations.” Those will be located at the Supervisor of Elections’ offices.
If you voted by mail, you can track your ballot online to make sure it’s received and counted. The ballot tracker will also provide you with information on how to resolve any potential problems with your ballot.
Election Day voting is also an option if you want to cast your ballot in person and on the actual day of the election. Polls in Florida will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Election Day. As long as you’re in line to vote at 7 p.m., you are allowed to cast your ballot.
Where are you voting?
Your polling location depends on how you decide to vote. If you want to vote early, you likely won’t be voting in the same place you would if you were to vote on Election Day.
To make voting as quick and easy as possible for you, it’s recommended that you double-check your polling location. You can do that online through the Florida Department of State website or on your county’s election website.
What’s on your ballot?
Your ballot can be overwhelming at first glance with a lot of complex language and smaller races you may not have even known you were voting on.
To make sure you’re informed before you vote, election officials recommend taking a close look at your sample ballot before you cast your actual ballot. Some elections supervisors even recommend filling out your sample ballot and bringing it with you to the poll to use as a guide.
Some things will be on everyone’s ballot in Florida, regardless of where they live. That includes state offices like governor and agriculture commissioner, as well as the U.S. Senate race. It also includes the three constitutional amendments. WFLA.com broke down all three amendments here: What to know about the three Amendments on Florida’s ballot.
Other races and ballot measures will depend on where you live. You can find your sample ballot on your county election supervisor’s website.
Bring everything you need to the polls
When you head to the polls, whether it be on Election Day or before for early voting, you will need valid photo identification in order to cast your ballot.
Polling places will accept any of these photo IDs:
- Florida driver’s license
- Florida ID card
- United States passport
- Debit or credit card
- Military ID
- Student ID
- Retirement center ID
- Neighborhood association ID
- Public assistance ID
- Veteran health ID card
- License to carry a concealed weapon
- Employee ID card issued by federal, state, county or municipal government
Your photo ID must include your signature. If it doesn’t, you will be asked to provide another form of ID that does have your signature.
While it’s not necessary to vote, you may also want to bring a copy of your sample ballot.