2016 General Election Voter Guide

vote election

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Are you ready for the General Election coming up on Tuesday Nov. 8, 2016?

We’ve compiled this helpful information from the Florida Division of Elections to make the voting process go smoothly for you!

What is the General Election?

A General Election is held in November of every even-numbered year. The 2016 General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 8. In the General Election, all registered voters, regardless of party affiliation or no party affiliation, may exercise their right to vote for federal and state races, judicial retention and statewide proposed constitutional amendments on the General Election ballot, including for the office of U.S. President, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, State Senator and State Representative. In addition, voters may vote in county and local-level races and local referendums.

When is the General Election?

Florida’s General Election is on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. The deadline for voters to register to vote for the General Election is 5:00 PM on October 18, 2016. Registered voters can vote-by-mail, vote during early voting, or vote at the polls on Election Day.

How can I vote in the General Election?

Floridians have several options to exercise their right to vote: Voting-by-Mail, Early Voting, or voting at the polls on Election Day.


Vote-by-mail (formerly referred to as absentee voting) refers to voting a ballot received by mail or picked up by, or for, a voter. A request for a vote-by-mail ballot to be mailed to a voter must be received by the Supervisor of Elections before 5:00 PM on Wednesday, November 2, 2016. A voter may pick up a vote-by-mail ballot from the office of their Supervisor of Elections through the day before the election or, if an emergency exists, on the day of the election. Generally, vote-by-mail ballots must be received by the Supervisors of Elections’ office no later than 7:00 PM on Election Day in order to be canvassed and counted; vote-by-mail ballots from overseas voters shall be counted if they are received within 10 days of the General Election, provided they are postmarked no later than the day of the election. Contact your county Supervisor of Elections for more information.

Early Voting:

Early Voting is defined as “casting a ballot in person prior to Election Day at a location designated by the Supervisor of Elections.” The voter uses the same type of voting equipment that is used at the polls on Election Day. All 67 Florida counties will be offering early voting from October 29 – November 5, 2016. In addition, each county Supervisor of Elections may at his or her own discretion, offer additional days of early voting. Contact your county Supervisor of Elections for more information.

Election Day Voting:

On Election Day, polls will be open statewide from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM. Any voters waiting in line at 7:00 PM will have the opportunity to cast a ballot. If you do not know where your polling place is, contact your county Supervisor of Elections. You can also find your precinct and polling place on your county Supervisor of Elections’ website or by using the Check Your Voter Status webpage.

What kinds of ID are accepted at the polling place?

According to Florida law, whether during early voting or on Election Day, voters will be asked to provide a valid photo ID with signature at the polls. Any one of the following 12 IDs will be accepted:

  • 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
  • Veteran health identification card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • License to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued pursuant to s. 790.06
  • Employee identification card issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the Federal Government, the state, a county, or a municipality.

If your photo ID does not include your signature, you will be asked to provide another ID that has your signature. If you do not bring proper ID, you can still vote a provisional ballot. As long as you are eligible and voted in the proper precinct, your provisional ballot will count provided the signature on your provisional ballot matches the signature in your registration record.

What candidates and races will be on my General Election ballot?

In the General Election, federal and state races will be on the ballot including for the offices of U.S. President, U.S. Senator, and U.S. Representative, State Senator and State Representative, judicial retention and proposed constitutional amendments. In addition, other county and local level races and referendums may appear on the ballot for your respective county.

For more specific information about what will be on your ballot, refer to your county Supervisor of Elections’ website or contact your Supervisor to obtain a sample ballot. For details regarding proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot, please see the Proposed Constitutional Amendment Booklet:

Check your voter status and polling place here

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