Voting is a right and not a privilege. In order to exercise this right, every voter in Hillsborough County must be informed and must know where to vote and how to do it. In Hillsborough County, there are three ways to exercise your right to vote: Vote By Mail, Early Voting and Election Day Voting.
In order to vote in the general election, set for Tuesday, November 3, you must be registered by Monday, October 5. When you register, you are asked to select a party. The parties are Republican, Democrat or No Party Affiliation. You can also register as a member of a minor political party such as the Green Party of Florida.
In a general election, your ballot, or those you vote for, is based upon where you reside. In other words, you vote for officials who represent your area. This year, everyone votes for the office of the president.
There are no statewide elections this year as neither U.S. senator who represents Florida is up for election. There are countywide elections, including the office of the Hillsborough County state attorney.
You can view a sample ballot for the general election by visiting www.votehillsborough.org.
VOTE BY MAIL
Vote By Mail is the most convenient method. You do not need an excuse to choose this option. If you request this method, you will receive your ballot in the mail as early as Thursday, September 24. The deadline to request your Vote By Mail ballot is Saturday, October 24.
Using this method allows you to take your time making your voting decision. The Vote By Mail ballot must be received by the Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections Office by 7 p.m. on Election Day. You can mail it or drop it off in person at one of their offices or at an Early Voting site.
In order to avoid any delays that may be experienced with the mail and to make voting as easy as possible, the supervisor of elections offers curbside drop-off this year. You must be mindful of the deadlines in order to use this method.
You can request your Vote By Mail ballot and track its delivery by visiting www.votehillsborough.org.
“During the primary election, we had curbside Vote By Mail drop-off at each of our 24 Early Voting sites and it was very popular. We expect even more voters to choose this convenient way of voting in the general election. Voters really liked being able to get their ballots at home and drop them off in person without leaving their car,” said Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer.
“The office plans to have drop-off tents at its four offices seven days a week, starting Friday, September 25, and will expand to the 24 drop-off sites during Early Voting, from Monday, October 19 through Sunday, November 1,” added Latimer.
Early Voting will take place from Monday, October 19 through Sunday, November 1 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Early Voting is just like Election Day Voting. You must bring one or two forms of identification with your photo and signature on it. Acceptable forms of identification include a Florida driver’s license, state-issued identification, U.S. passport, student ID, public assistance ID and more.
During Early Voting, you can go to any of the 24 sites designated as an Early Voting site. Conversely, on Election Day, you must vote at the precinct designated on your voter registration.
ELECTION DAY VOTING
Polling places or precincts, noted on your voter registration card, are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day. This year, the general election day is Tuesday, November 3. You can bring your sample ballot with you and use it while you vote.
Latimer said, “We got a lot of positive feedback from our voters and poll workers on the health and safety of in-person voting. Voters appreciated the way we set up our polling places so that everyone could be socially distanced, our poll workers were wearing masks and keeping things clean and we were happy to see that nearly all of our voters wore masks too.”
Whichever method you choose, remember that your vote counts.
For more information, please visit www.votehillsborough.org.