Learning About Candidates & Issues
Before you vote, it’s a good idea to learn about who’s running for office. Find out how they feel about the different issues. Do they share your opinions or do you disagree with them? Do you think they will listen to you if they are elected?
Think about the things that are most important to you. What would you like to see changed? What rights do you want protected? Ask people you know how they will vote and why. You do not need to vote the same way as your friends or family, but more information can be helpful in making your own decisions.
Some of the issues people might base their votes on include:
- Services for People with Disabilities
- Housing Costs
- Health Care
You can find out about the issues by reading the newspaper, researching facts on the Internet, watching the candidate debates on television, listening to the radio, and/or going to campaign events. If you go to events, ask questions about the issues that are important to you.
You may see campaign ads on television or hear candidates on the radio. Ads are designed to try to convince you to vote for a particular candidate or issue. Sometimes ads may leave out important facts or distort the truth. For this reason, news articles and non-partisan (not belonging to any political party) organizations may be the best choice to help you find the most reliable information.
What to Bring on Election Day
When you vote, bring a valid picture identification showing your signature. The following photo identification options are 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 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- Concealed weapon permit issued in Florida
- Employee identification card issued by any branch, department, agency of entity of the Federal Government, the state, a county, or a municipality
If your photo identification does not show your signature, you will be asked to provide an additional identification that includes a signature.
If you do not have proper identification, your vote will be registered at the polls as provisional and will only be counted if the signature on the provisional ballot envelope is found to match the signature on your voter registration application. Another option for people who do not have proper identification to show at the polls is to vote by mail on an absentee ballot.
Know Your Voting Rights
Federal and state law requires Supervisor of Elections offices and polling places to be accessible. Everyone should be able to get into his or her polling place. The doors should be wide enough for a wheelchair to fit through. There should be ramps or elevators if there are steps up or down. The parking lot and the walkways must be accessible.
Florida law also governs the extent to which you have the right to be assisted by others in the process of registering and voting.