MEDIA ADVISORY: What Florida Voters Need to Know for Municipal Elections this Spring
All vote-by-mail requests in Florida expired at the end of 2022, affecting millions of voters.
Municipal elections are happening across Florida this spring, offering important chances for many of Florida’s 14.3 million registered voters to have a say in the future of their towns, cities and communities.
Among the municipal and local elections being held in March are:
- Tuesday, March 7 – Tampa municipal elections
- Tuesday, March 14 – Numerous municipal elections in Broward, Orange, Palm Beach, Pinealleas, Sarasota counties
- Tuesday, March 21 – Jacksonville/Duval County local elections
Voters who typically cast their ballots by mail need to take additional steps after anti-voter legislation canceled standing vote-by-mail requests for every Florida voter after the November 2022 election.
The changes to this popular method of voting – one in three Florida voters cast a mail ballot in the last election – will disproportionately affect Black, Hispanic, disabled, rural and older voters. But voters can submit a new vote-by-mail request through their county supervisor of elections now, and have ballots automatically sent to them for all elections through the end of 2024, said Amy Keith, Common Cause Florida’s program director.
“We need to keep Florida voting and that means making sure you have a plan for how to vote in these upcoming municipal elections,” Keith said. “If you prefer to vote by mail, take a few minutes to renew your request and pass the word on to your family and friends about this recent change to our election laws. We need to make sure all our voices are heard, in each and every election, to be a government that truly is of, by and for the people.”
Voter Information for 2023 Municipal Elections
There are three different ways that registered Florida voters can vote: by mail, in-person at early voting sites in their county, or in-person at their assigned polling location on Election Day. However, it is important to note that early voting is not offered for some municipal elections.
Voters who have any questions about the voting process or encounter problems can contact the nonpartisan Election Protection hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE. The hotline will be staffed live on March 7, March 14 and March 21, with trained volunteers available to support.
Voters who choose to vote by mail must:
- Request a vote-by-mail ballot through their county Supervisor of Elections office. Note that all Florida voters who want to vote by mail must renew their vote-by-mail request this year, a change from past elections.
- Sign the back of the ballot return envelope.
- Make sure the ballot is received by their county election office by 7 p.m. on Election Day (postmark date is not enough).
Voters can track their mail ballot online to make sure it was received OK. If there is a problem with the voter’s signature on their vote-by-mail ballot, the voter has until 5 p.m. on the second day after Election Day to submit the paperwork to correct their signature.
Note: Common Cause Florida recommends mailing in ballots at least 10 days in advance or dropping signed ballots off in Secure Ballot Intake Stations available at county elections offices and early voting sites during hours of operation.
People can also vote early in-person at county early voting sites.
- Not every municipality will be offering early voting hours for these local elections. Voters can look up early voting locations, dates and times through their county elections office here.
- Voters can use any early voting site in their county to vote in-person or drop mail-in ballots in Secure Ballot Intake Stations.
- You must provide a valid photo/signature ID to vote in-person in Florida during early voting or on election day. There are 12 acceptable forms of ID, with the list available here.
Those who want to vote in-person on Election Day must:
- Bring valid (non-expired) photo/signature ID.
- Vote at the correct precinct for their current residence. Voters can look up their precincts here. In some cases, Election Day polling locations may be different for municipal elections. Voters are advised to pay attention to any notices provided by their county Supervisor of Elections or call their Supervisor of Elections if they have questions.
- Arrive at the polls during voting hours. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Any voter in line to vote at 7 p.m. must be allowed to vote.