HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL — Voters who prefer to personally cast their ballots but want to avoid long lines on Election Day can begin voting early in Hillsborough County Monday.
While vote-by-mail has been breaking records in Hillsborough County this election, it's not the only option. Early voting in Hillsborough County is open for 14 days, from Oct. 19 through Nov. 1 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., including weekends.
Hillsborough County voters can choose from any of 26 early voting locations to vote. This is different from Election Day, when voters must vote in the polling place assigned to their precinct.
Each early voting location will also have a curbside, vote-by-mail drop-off tent for voters who want to turn in their vote-by-mail ballots in person.
"We are a large county and I want our voters to have plenty of options, so I've added extra sites, and we will be open the maximum number of days and hours allowed by law," said Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer. "In these uncertain times, I encourage voters to vote early if you can. If you get sick, or someone you care for gets sick, you may not be able to vote on Election Day."
Early Voting for the general election includes two new sites — Amalie Arena and Raymond James Stadium. The voting sites in those locations will be similar in size to other large early voting sites in the county, including the sites at several libraries and the University Area Community Center.
The elections office has taken extensive measures to ensure the health and safety of in-person voting, and has posted a video preview on the 2020 General Election page of its website.
Only a limited number of people will be allowed inside to ensure social distancing, and surfaces will be cleaned throughout the day. Poll workers are required to wear masks at all times, and face shields or plexiglass barriers will provide additional protection.
Latimer asks that all voters wear masks and will have them available for voters, if needed. And voters will get their own combination stylus/pen to sign in and mark their ballots.
"With ongoing cleaning and limited capacity, in-person voting will go a little slower, but once voters are inside the polling place, they should be able to move through quickly," said Latimer.
Voters should bring a Florida driver's license or other acceptable photo and signature ID for voter check-in. If they forget their ID, they can vote a provisional ballot to be verified by the elections office.
"The drive-up vote-by-mail drop-off tents are a contactless way for voters to cast their ballot in person, so I expect this option to be popular. We've sent out more than 405,000 vote-by-mail ballots, and we want to see those voted ballots come back in," said Latimer.
Voters can still request a mail ballot online at VoteHillsborough.org or by calling 813-744-5900.
Vote By Mail
Contact your supervisor of elections office no later than Oct. 24 (but preferably sooner) to request that a ballot be mailed to you, or you may pick up a mail ballot at an elections office in your county. Mail ballots must be received by your supervisor of elections no later than 7 p.m. Nov. 3.
Don't forget to sign your vote-by-mail envelope before returning it and make sure you have a current signature on file with your supervisor of elections office. You can update your signature by completing a printed or online voter registration application. An online application will add your most recent Florida driver's license or Florida state ID signature to your voter record. Be consistent when signing your mail ballot return envelope. Signatures are compared to those on file with the elections office.
You may mail your ballot back or drop it off at your local elections offices or early voting sites (during early voting). Check with your elections office for more information on drop-off locations.
If you mail the ballot back, make sure to allow plenty of time for it to be received. The supervisors of election recommend that you allow at least a week for your mailed ballot to reach your elections office. If your ballot isn't in your county's elections office by 7 p.m. Election Day, it will not be counted.
During early voting, you may vote at any early voting site. Bring with you a current and valid photo and signature ID.
Acceptable forms of identification include: a Florida driver's license, Florida ID card (issued by DHSMV), U.S. passport, debit or credit card, military ID, student ID, retirement center ID, neighborhood association ID, public assistance ID, veteran health ID issued by the Veterans Administration, concealed weapon license, government employee ID. If you do not bring an ID, you may vote a provisional ballot.
You may vote at the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections offices:
Robert L. Gilder Elections Service Center, 2514 N. Falkenburg Road, Tampa
Fred B. Karl County Center, 601 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa
Southeast Regional Office, 10020 S. U.S. 301, Riverview
Northwest Regional Office, 4575 Gunn Highway, Tampa
Or you may vote at these early voting sites:
Apollo Beach Community Center
Austin Davis Public Library
Bloomingdale Regional Public Library
Bruton Memorial Library C. Blythe Andrews Jr. Public Library
Fred B. Karl County Center
Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library
Jimmie B. Keel Regional Public Library
Maureen B. Gauzza Public Library
New Tampa Regional Library
North Tampa Branch Library
Northdale Recreation Center
Northwest Elections Office
Port Tampa Community Center
Providence West Community Center
Raymond James Stadium
Riverview Branch Library
Robert L. Gilder Elections Service Center
Southeast Elections Office
SouthShore Regional Library
Temple Terrace Public Library
Town N' Country Regional Public Library
West Tampa Branch Library, University Area Community Center
USF TECO Hall (David C. Anchin Center)
Florida law states that on Election Day you may only vote in the polling place assigned to your current residence address. You are encouraged to update your address prior to Election Day to avoid delays at your polling place on individual precinct maps. If you don't know where your polling place is, check the supervisor of elections website. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Election Day.
On Election Day, you should bring a Florida driver's license, Florida ID card (issued by DHSMV), U.S. passport, debit or credit card, military ID, student ID, retirement center ID, neighborhood association ID, public assistance ID, veteran health ID issued by the Veterans Administration, concealed weapon license, government employee ID. If you do not bring an ID, you may vote a provisional ballot.
Wondering who's on the ballot Nov. 3. Click here to get a sample ballot. You may mark and bring your sample ballot to use as a reference.
Track Your Ballot
Track Your Ballot Status will allow you to see when your ballot has been received and counted and get other useful information. If there is a problem with the signature on your voted ballot, this tool will have details on what you need to do to resolve the problem.
Track Your Ballot Through The Mail will allow you to track your ballot from the elections office, out to you and back again. You even can sign up to get an email or text confirming when your voted ballot has been received.
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