If you want to vote on any of the races in this year's November election, you can only do it if you've registered by now.
The deadline to register to vote was at 5 p.m. Tuesday. A federal judge ordered Florida to extend the registration deadline because Hurricane Matthew might've kept Floridians from registering.
Fox 4 talked to a Southwest Florida son and mom who say the deadline extension was much appreciated. "I'm so clumped up between work and school, and this extension really helped me out to beat the deadline," says Nathaniel Taggart.
"For him to have the additional opportunity for the time to vote was important to us, and I'm also happy for the people who were affected by the hurricane," says Melissa Kwit.
If you want to vote ahead of the November election, either in person or by mail, here;s what you need to know:
Beginning this year, the term “Absentee Ballot” has changed to “Vote-by-Mail Ballot.” Vote-by-mail refers to voting a ballot received by mail or picked up by or for a voter who is unable or unwilling to go to the polls to vote during early voting or Election Day. A voter does not have to be absent from the county of residence or have an excuse in order to vote-by-mail except on Election Day (see details below). A request covers all elections through the end of the calendar year for the second ensuing regularly scheduled general election. To receive a vote-by-mail ballot, the voter or authorized person must contact his or her county Supervisor of Elections.
A request for a vote-by-mail ballot may be made in one of the following ways:
- Online application on your county Supervisors of Elections' website
- In writing (e.g., by email, fax, mail) to Supervisor of Elections
- In person at Supervisor of Elections
- By telephone call to Supervisor of Elections
If you are making the request, the following information is required:
- The name of the voter for whom the ballot is being requested;
- The voter’s address;
- The voter’s date of birth; and
- The voter’s signature (if the request is written).
If an immediate family member or legal guardian is requesting a vote-by-mail ballot for you, the following additional information must be provided:
- The requestor’s address;
- The requestor’s driver’s license number (if available);
- The requestor’s relationship to the voter; and
- The requestor’s signature (if the request is written).
The deadline to request that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed is no later than 5 p.m. on the 6th day before the election. Otherwise, a vote-by-mail ballot can be picked-up until and including on Election Day. However, the ballot must still be received by the Supervisor of Elections no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day if the voted ballot is to count.
Early Voting is defined as “casting a ballot in person prior to Election Day at a location designated by the Supervisor of Elections and depositing the voted ballot in the tabulation system.” The voter uses the same type of voting equipment that is used at the polls on Election Day. In all elections when there is a state or federal office race, early voting is required to be available. Early voting may be offered in county, municipal and other local elections.
Voters who want to vote early should present the following at the early voting site: a valid photo identification and a signature identification.
Voters can vote at any early voting site within the county when the site is open.
Early voting dates in Southwest Florida:
Lee County -- Monday, October 24th through Saturday, November 5th
Collier County -- Monday, October 24th through Saturday, November 5th
Charlotte County -- Monday, October 24th through Sunday, November 6th
Hendry County -- Monday, October 24th through Saturday, November 5th
Glades County -- Saturday, October 29th through Saturday, November 5th
For more information, contact your local Supervisor of Elections office.