Election 2020: It’s time to make decisions about your voting plan

It’s time for you to make decisions about voting! The League of Women Voters urges all eligible adults to be registered and to vote.  Let’s review some basic information about the upcoming election. 

Register to Vote: You must be registered to vote by 5:00 pm on October 5th. You can  register on-line, print out a registration form, complete it and mail it to the Supervisor of Elections (called Elections in the remainder of this article) office, attend one of the voter registration events sponsored by the Elections office or go to the Elections office between 8:30 am -5:00 pm. and register in person.  

If you are not sure if you are registered or have not voted recently, check with the Elections office to be sure you are an active registered voter and the information in your file, especially your address, is correct. You can do this on-line, by phone or in person at the office. 

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Vote by Mail: Because of the risk of face-to-face contact, voters are encouraged to request a vote by mail ballot. This can be done online, or in person at a voter registration event or the elections office. You may request a vote-by-mail ballot until October 24th, but this is a Saturday so if you plan to make your request at the elections office, you must go before 5:00 pm  on Friday, October 23rd. If you previously requested a vote by-mail-ballot, you may want to go on-line to verify that your request is still in your voter file.

Be sure that your address is correct. Ballots cannot be forwarded. The Elections office will begin mailing ballots September 24th and will mail all, except late requests, by October 1st. 

If you have not received your ballot by October 3rd, you can go online to see if it was mailed. It will arrive in a big pink envelope. You should be ready to vote when the ballot arrives so you can return it quickly. The instructions are included with the ballot along with a secrecy folder and envelope, addressed to the Elections office. Be sure to sign the back. There is also place for your phone number and email address but this additional information is not required. Your contact  information is requested in case the Elections office has questions about your ballot. For example, if your signature does not match the one they have on file. You do not need a stamp to mail the ballot. 

Your ballot must arrive in the Elections office by 7:00 pm on Election day. It does not matter when it is postmarked. If you are going to mail your ballot you should send it out as soon as possible. We recommend getting it in the mail no later than October 20.

You may also hand deliver it to an Elections “dropbox”. There will be dropboxes at all early voting sites and there is one in front of the Elections office. The dropboxes at the early voting sites are only available during scheduled early voting. The dropbox at the Elections office is always available. If you are not mobile, a trusted friend or relative can deliver your ballot to a dropbox. You cannot drop off your ballot at your voting precinct on election day. If you have waited until election day to vote, you can vote in person at your designated precinct or bring your ballot to the Elections office. 

A few days after you drop off your ballot or a week after you mailed it, go to the Elections web site and check to verify it has been received. After that, you will be able to see that it was counted. If there were any problems it will be noted and you can contact the Elections office to “cure” it. 

If you requested a vote-by-mail ballot you can change your mind and vote in person. You cannot vote twice so if you put your ballot in the mail or drop it off you can no longer change your mind. 

Early Voting: The  Elections office is planning for six early voting sites. You may vote at any one of them. They include The Elections office, Tower Road Branch Library, Millhopper Branch Library, Legacy Park Multipurpose Center in Alachua, Orange Heights Baptist Church in Hawthorne and the Reitz Union on UF campus. They will be open from 9 am-6 pm every day from Monday October 19th to Saturday October 31st. Be sure to bring identification with your picture and signature. You may use two sources to provide this information if you do not have one with both. Since early voting will be an in-person event you will need to wear a face covering and may want to bring your own blue or black pen. Although you may not need to wait, you should be prepared to do so.

Things to consider – you may  want to wear gloves, bring sanitizer and water.  if you are bringing your children, you will want them to wear a face covering, have snacks, something to drink and something to keep them occupied.   

Voting on Election Day – November 3rd: On election day, you may only vote at your designated site which is based on your address. Be sure to check online to confirm your designated location. Due to COVID-19 related difficulty recruiting poll workers, it is possible that not all the usual sites will be operating. Sites will be open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm for in-person voting. See above for reminders on in-person voting. 

Right now you will want to review the choices and decisions you will be making with your vote. The Elections web site has a list of offices that will be on the ballot. There will be candidates for local, state and federal offices. There will be state and local amendments. Information on state amendments is available here: https://www.lwvfl.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Voters-Guide-LWV-2020-1.pdf. Information on local issues will be on the League of Women Voters of Alachua County web site. https://my.lwv.org/florida/alachua. The League of Women Voters of Alachua County will be hosting a candidate forum on October 4th at 1:30 pm to introduce local and statewide candidates. The forum can be viewed live at 

https://www.facebook.com/events/754694205332141.  Shortly after the live forum the forum will be available on our YouTube channel  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt-RfLN4GugHoYpRldzpyLw.

For More information: 

Supervisor of Elections

Website – votealachua.com

Address – 515 N Main Street, Suite 300, Gainesville Florida 32601

Phone Number – 352-374-5252

Summary of Dates

Vote by mail ballots sent by Elections office – begins September 24

League of Women Voters Candidate Forum – October 4 

Register to Vote –  by October 5

Request Vote by Mail Ballot –  by October 24

Early Voting – October 19-31 

Election Day – November 3

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