Election season is incredibly exciting for anyone who wants to make their voice heard and participate in their civic duty. A ballot is more than a piece of paper. It has the power to change the course of American history, or at least change who will represent you and lead you in the coming years.
Check out a few of these common questions if you want to register to vote and to see if you qualify.
Who Can Vote?
In order to vote, you must be a US citizen and a legal resident of Florida and the county you wish to vote in. You must be 18 years of age to vote (although you may pre-register at 16). If you have been adjudicated mentally incompetent to vote, then you cannot vote unless you have had your civil rights restored by the state.
You must be able to affirm that you have either not been convicted of a felony or that your voting rights have been restored. Florida voters passed the Voting Rights Restoration amendment to the Florida Constitution in 2018 (“Amendment 4”). Under this amendment, anyone who has been convicted of a felony (except for murder or felony sex offenses) has their voting rights automatically restored once they have completed all terms of their sentence. “All terms of sentence” currently includes incarceration, parole, probation and any outstanding restitution, fines, or fees that were part of the sentence. This issue is under ongoing litigation and may change. If you have questions about your eligibility or need help resolving fines and fees, you can contact the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition at 1-877-698-6830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Do I Register to Vote?
If you have a Florida Driver License or a Florida ID card, you can easily register to vote online!
Otherwise, you can mail a completed Voter Registration Form (English / Spanish) to your local Supervisor of Elections (the address is on the back of the form). Be sure to fill out lines 1-7 of the form, and sign and date the form on line 12. We recommend providing your phone number and/or email address so that they can get in touch with you quickly if there is a question about your form.
Pinellas County also has a number of places where you can register to vote in person. A few of the most common locations include:
- The Department of Motor Vehicles
- The Supervisor of Elections Office
- Any Pinellas County Library or St. Petersburg Public Library
- Any armed services recruitment office
- With a number of Voter Registration Organizations (including the League of Women Voters)
What Documents Do I Need to Vote?
To register to vote, you will need to provide a valid Florida Driver License number, a valid Florida ID card number, or the last four digits of you Social Security Number.
If you don’t have any of these, you need to check “none” on line 5 of the Voter Registration Form. You will need to provide at least one other proof of identity such as a copy of an ID that shows your name and photo (for example, a student ID or a U.S. passport) or a copy of an ID that shows your name and current address (for example, a utility bill or a bank statement).
What are the Registration Deadlines?
You must register at least 29 days before the election in which you wish to vote.
Florida has a closed primary system. This means that you can only vote in a party’s primary if you are registered with that party. If you are registered as No Party Affiliation (NPA), you may not vote in any partisan primary election, although you can vote in non-partisan primaries. If you want to change your party affiliation, you must update your voter registration record by submitting a completed Voter Registration Form by the 29-day voter registration deadline.
There is no deadline for registered Florida voters to update their address or name on their voter registration record.
When Do I Get My Voter Registration Card?
You should get your card within two weeks of your registration. If you do not, contact your county Supervisor of Elections (the phone number for Pinellas County is 727-464-8683).
Your voter registration card is for informational purposes only. You cannot use this card as identification at the polls when you go to vote.
To vote in person in Florida, you must show valid photo and signature identification. There are 12 different forms of acceptable ID. If you do not have acceptable ID, you can still vote a provisional ballot.
How can I Check My Registration?
You can check your registration status at RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov. You will also be able to click through to see your ballot and precinct information.
About Voter Privacy
Note that Voter Registrations are public record, including your name, address, phone number, date of birth, email address, and party affiliation. Your voting history (if you voted, not for whom you voted) is also public record.
Information NOT made public includes your Social Security Number, Driver License or identification number, and where you filed your application.
Some individuals may apply for their information to be kept confidential (for example, individuals who are victims of domestic assault or stalking and individuals in certain professions or roles).
There are dozens of people, groups, and organizations around Pinellas County who want to help you vote! If you have any additional questions, reach out the League of Women Voters (www.LWVSPA.org) or contact the Supervisor of Elections (www.VotePinellas.com).