|Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) |
When and where can I register?
You may register to vote at anytime. However, you must be registered to vote in the State of Florida 29 days prior to an election to be eligible to vote. Party changes must be made 29 days prior to a Primary election. You can register to vote or update your voter information online. After completing your application, print it out and sign the application form. Please remember to mail your signed voter registration application form to the Supervisor of Elections Office at 111 S.E. 1st Avenue, Gainesville, Florida 32601-6819. To register in person, you can come to the Supervisor of Elections Office in the Star Garage Building at 111 S.E. 1st Avenue, Gainesville. You will be asked if you want to register when you apply for a drivers’ license, a library card or apply for service with a public assistance agency or one which serves people with disabilities.
Mail-in registration forms are available at many locations in the county or call the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252. There is no charge for becoming a registered voter or for voting. Simply mail your completed application or drop it by our office.
Do I need to re-register every few years?
No, you do not need to re-register every few years. Although, if you move within the county, Florida Law requires that you notify us of your change of address. If you are not sure whether you are still registered, call the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252.
Where do I vote?
Where you vote depends on where you live. Each precinct has its own polling place. Your voter information card has your precinct number on it and it also gives the name and location of your polling place. You may locate your precinct by checking our online precinct finder. In the event that a polling place has to be changed, a new voter information card will be mailed to you with your new polling place on it.
What do I need to bring with me to vote?
You are required to present picture and signature identification before voting. The following forms of photo identification are accepted at the polls:
- Florida driver’s license
- Florida identification card
- United States passport
- Debit or credit card
- Military ID
- Student ID
- Retirement center ID
- Neighborhood association ID
- Public assistance ID
You may use two forms of identification to meet this requirement. If you do not present proper identification, you must vote a provisional ballot.
What should I do if I have moved, changed my name or if my signature has changed?
You can update your address or change your name by notifying the Elections Office by using a signed written notice that contains your date of birth or voter registration number. If you have moved within Alachua County, please update your address or call the Elections Office. If you have moved from another Florida county, you can update your address in person, by phone, by mail, by e-mail, by fax, or by a written signed notice provided that the change is made directly to the Supervisor of Elections in the county of your residence. Otherwise, you will be required to make your change of address on a voter registration application form. Our office is located in the Star Garage Building at 111 S.E. 1st Avenue, Gainesville.
If your signature has changed since you registered to vote, please update your record. You may do this by filling out a voter registration application form. Be sure to mark the signature update box. You will need to download the application, sign it, and mail it to the Elections Office. You may also update your signature in person at the Elections Office, or see a list of available locations where voter registration application forms may be obtained.
Florida Law requires that you vote in the precinct of your residence. Except for an active uniformed services voter or a member of his or her family, an elector whose change of address is from outside the county may not change his or her legal residence at the polling place and vote a regular ballot; however such elector is entitled to vote a provisional ballot.
What does "legal resident" mean?
In practice, your residence for voting purposes is wherever you say it is, with some restrictions. You may have only one place of legal residence at any given time. If you are in the military or otherwise out of State for an extended period of time and will not be maintaining a home here, you may still keep your voter registration here, so that you have a place where you can vote. In that case, you are eligible to vote absentee and only in countywide, state and federal elections.
I'll turn 18 two weeks before the election. Can I vote?
Yes, if you are pre-registered to vote before the registration books are closed for that election (usually about 4 weeks before the Election Day). You can register to vote anytime after you turn 16, but you can vote only after you reach 18.
Do I have to give a political party preference? How do I change my party affiliation?
No, however, Florida is a closed Primary State. You may register in the party of your choice (major or minor) or in no party at all. In a Florida Primary Election, you may vote only for candidates of the political party in which you are registered, unless all candidates for an office have the same party affiliation and the winner will have no opposition in the General Election. All registered voters may vote in non-partisan elections, on issues, and for any candidate in the General Election. Party changes can be submitted on a voter registration application form or with a signed written notice with the date of birth or voter registration number of the voter no later than 29 days prior to a Primary election.
How do I get my name off the list so I won't be called for jury duty?
You can have your name taken off the voter registration list at any time, for any reason, by coming to the Elections Office or making a written request. HOWEVER, Florida has changed its jury selection procedures so that this will no longer prevent your being called for jury duty. State jury lists are drawn from Driver's License lists. Federal Jury lists are still drawn from the Voter rolls.
How can my organization sponsor a voter registration drive?
For the most current information and laws regarding 3rd Party Voter Registration, please visit the State of Florida – Division of Elections Website.
I lost my voter information card. How do I get a new one?
You must request a replacement voter information card by completing a voter registration application form. Please remember to mail your signed copy to the Supervisor of Elections at 111 S.E. 1st Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601-6819, or bring it to our office. A faxed copy of your application cannot be accepted. You may also make a request in person at the Supervisor of Elections Office or find the nearest location to pick up a voter registration application form.
If it's Election Day and you can't find your card to verify your voting precinct, you can locate your precinct by checking our online precinct finder. Photo and signature ID must be presented at the polls or you will have to vote a provisional ballot.What is "Motor Voter"? Does this mean I'm automatically registered to vote if I have a driver's license?
No, you are not automatically registered to vote just because you have a driver's license. Motor Voter is the name of the federal law that went into effect on January 1, 1995. The law is intended to require the states to follow uniform practices in registering voters and to make it as easy as possible for people to register. You can apply to register to vote or update your voter information when you apply for a new driver's license or update your driver’s license information. Also under this federal law, you may register to vote at any State agency that offers public assistance or serves people with disabilities, at any public library or at a Center for Independent Living.