So you signed up to vote by mail, but now that Election Day is near, you’ve decided you’d rather vote in person.
Good news — you can!
The Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections makes it easy to change how you plan to vote. You just have to know a few things!
The most important thing is that you need to make sure to hang on to your mail ballot. You’re going to need that when you go vote in person.
The second most important thing is that you’ll need to have valid photo and signature ID. You can choose from 12 different forms of ID. You can use one ID with both your photo and signature on it, or you can use any combination of two IDs on that list to show your photo and signature, ex. a student ID shows your photo and your debit card shows your signature.
Take your mail ballot with you to an Early Voting site (if you’re voting early) or your polling place on Election Day. If you are voting on Election Day, make sure you go to the correct precinct for your current residence.
You’ll give your mail ballot to a poll worker, who will then cancel the mail ballot and provide you with an in-person ballot, which you will then use to vote in the voting booth.
That’s it! You’ve voted!
When considering whether to turn in your mail ballot to vote in person, be aware of these things:
If you’ve already filled out your mail ballot, you’re going to have to fill out the in-person ballot all over again. That can be a pain, especially during an election with a long ballot. A simple solution is to snap a photo of your mail ballot with your smartphone camera before you hand it in, and then use the photo as a reference when you go into the voting booth to vote.
If you forget to take your mail ballot with you to the polling place, the poll workers will try to confirm that you haven’t already voted. If they’re not able to confirm that, you may have to vote using a provisional ballot. If that’s the case, it is very important that you follow the instructions the poll workers give you to follow up and “cure” your ballot if needed. If you don’t do this, your vote may not be counted.
If you hang on to your mail ballot until Election Day, be aware that you can’t just drop it off at your local polling place (you can only exchange it for an in person ballot as described above). However, you CAN drop your mail ballot off at any one of the three Supervisor of Elections offices on Election Day!
If you are considering voting in person because you’re concerned about the postal service, you may want to consider taking your completed mail ballot to one of the 25 official, secure ballot drop boxes that will be open around the county from Oct. 19-Nov. 2. That way you’ll make sure your ballot gets where it needs to go but without having to stand in line to vote in person.