As a proud member of the Orlando business community, Launch That believes one positive way to impact our city and region is to encourage widespread participation in democracy. We aim to spread the word about the 2020 election cycle and to help the League of Women Voters of Orange County register local voters and sign them up to vote by mail.

Here you will find important information about voting by mail and upcoming deadlines to register to vote in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Volusia and Lake counties. Launch That does not take a public stance on specific issues or candidates. Rather, we want to clear the way for more residents to take part in the civic duty of voting.

How to Register to Vote

The easiest way for most people to register to vote is by completing the Florida Voter Registration Application online.

Through the Florida Online Voter Registration System, you can:

  • Register to vote for the first time
  • Update your address
  • Change your party affiliation
  • Request a new voter ID card

This statewide application is the same for every city and county. To register, you must be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen. You can also register to vote by visiting your county’s supervisor of elections office, your local Florida Division of Motor Vehicles, any armed forces recruitment office and all public assistance offices.

Important note: You must be registered for at least 29 days before you can vote in an election. The same rule applies if you want to change your party affiliation.

Mark Your Calendar

The deadline to register to vote in the 2020 general election is 5 p.m. on Oct. 5.

Voter selecting the vote by mail option

How to Vote by Mail

Voting by mail is safe, easy and convenient. It’s also an increasingly popular way to vote in Florida. Both the percentage of mail-in votes and the number of mail-in votes increased in each of the past three presidential elections, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Any Florida voter can request a mail-in ballot for any reason. When you receive your mail-in ballot, you also get an “I Voted” sticker to wear and show off to friends or on social media!

Three Easy Ways to Request a Vote-by-Mail Ballot

  1. Complete the application online via your county’s supervisor of elections website.
  2. Call your supervisor of elections office and a representative in the office will help you complete the form over the phone.
  3. Visit your local supervisor of elections office in person and fill out a paper form.

In most counties — including Orange and Osceola — you can also request a vote-by-mail ballot via email. Several Central Florida counties — except Seminole — include pre-paid return envelopes for mail-in ballots. No stamp required.

Registering to vote is not the same as requesting a vote-by-mail ballot. They are two separate processes. Registering to vote for the first time — or for the first time in a long time — does not mean you will automatically receive a vote-by-mail ballot.

Vote-by-Mail Application Links and Supervisor of Elections Information by County

Orange County
119 W. Kaley St.
Orlando, FL  32806
Phone: 407-836-2070
Orange County vote-by-mail application
Osceola County
2509 E. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway
Kissimmee, FL  34744
Phone: 407-742-6000
Osceola County vote-by-mail application
Seminole County
1500 E. Airport Blvd.
Sanford, FL  32773
Phone: 407-585-8683
Seminole County vote-by-mail application
Lake County
1898 E. Burleigh Blvd.
Tavares, FL  32778
Phone: 352-343-9734
Lake County vote-by-mail application
Volusia County
1750 S. Woodland Blvd.
DeLand FL  32720
Phone: 386-736-5930
Volusia County vote-by-mail application

Vote-by-Mail Deadlines

You can request a vote-by-mail ballot up to 10 days before an election.

Mark Your Calendar

The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot for the general election is 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24.

It’s best to request your vote-by-mail ballot as soon as possible. If you wait until the last day, your ballot will be mailed to you that Monday.

Eight days isn’t much time to mail your ballot to your home, fill it out and mail it back.

Your vote will not count if the supervisor of elections receives your mail-in ballot after 7 p.m. on Election Day. The postmark doesn’t matter.

The U.S. Postal Service recommends sending back your marked ballot at least one week before Election Day to avoid delays.

Don’t Want to Return Your Ballot by Mail?

If you’re worried about the supervisor of elections receiving your mail-in ballot on time, you can always drop it off at a secure drop box located at various early voting sites in your county during the early voting period.

However, you cannot return your mail-in ballot to a polling location on Election Day unless you want to vote in person. (Bring your ballot with you.) You can vote by mail on Election Day by dropping your ballot off at your county’s supervisor of elections office that day. Call ahead to confirm.

Track Your Ballot Online

Voters can track their vote-by-mail ballot online. Each county’s supervisor of elections website features this option. Or can also call your local supervisor of elections office to confirm that your vote-by-mail ballot was received.

To ensure your vote counts:

  • Read all the instructions on your mail-in ballot
  • Sign the outside envelope
  • Make sure your signature resembles the one on file with the supervisor of elections (usually your driver’s license or state ID signature)

Your signature does not need to be exact. Similar suffices. If you send your ballot back before deadline, the supervisor of elections will call you if there’s a signature issue and give you a chance to fix it.

Voting by Mail Long-Term

Once you’re signed up to vote by mail, you’re good until the next general election. This is generally two to three years. Each election season when you receive a mail-in ballot, you can check a box on the envelope confirming you wish to continue voting by mail at that address.

If you don’t check this box, the supervisor of elections will eventually remove you from the vote-by-mail list. You can update your voter address via the Florida Online Voter Registration System. Then go to your county’s supervisor of elections website to update your vote-by-mail address.

Note: If you’ve moved, your vote-by-mail ballot will NOT be forwarded to your new address — even if you stayed in the same county. Contact your county’s supervisor of elections office if you need help.

Early Voting

Early in-person voting usually begins about two weeks before Election Day. Florida law requires a minimum of eight early voting days and a maximum of 14 days.

Unlike voting on Election Day, when you are required to vote at your precinct location, during early voting you can cast your ballot at any voting location within your county. You will need to present current and valid picture identification with a signature.

2 facts about early voting:

Lines to vote are shorter during the first week of the early voting period than they are at the end.

Early voting hours and locations vary by county and are subject to change.

Make sure to visit your county’s supervisor of elections website or call the elections office to explore polling place options.

Supervisor of Elections and Early Voting Information by County

Orange County
Number of early voting locations: 18
Early voting dates: Oct. 19 to Nov. 1 for the November election
Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Supervisor of elections office: 407-836-2070, website
Osceola County
Number of early voting locations: 8
Early voting dates: Oct. 19 to Nov. 1 for the November election
Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Supervisor of elections office: 407-742-6000, website
Seminole County
Number of early voting locations: 7
Early voting dates: Oct. 24-31 for the November election
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Supervisor of elections office: 407-585-8683, website
Lake County
Number of early voting locations: 11
Early voting dates: Oct. 19-31 for the November election
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Supervisor of elections office: 352-343-9734, website
Volusia County
Number of early voting locations: 6
Early voting dates: Oct. 19 to Nov. 1 for the November election
Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Supervisor of elections office: 386-736-5930, website
Citizens standing in line to vote on election day

Election Day Voting

On Election Day — Nov. 3 — polling locations across Florida are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. As long as you are in a line to vote at 7 p.m., you will be permitted to cast your ballot.

You can determine your voting precinct location on your county’s supervisor of elections website or by calling the elections office. On Election Day, you can only vote at your local precinct. Your precinct location is listed on your voter registration card and on your sample ballot, if you received one.

Just like early voting, you will need to present current and valid picture identification with a signature in order to cast a ballot.

Election Results

After the polls close on Election Day, you can visit your supervisor of elections website to see your county’s most current reporting figures live as results come in. The Orlando Sentinel and other news outlets also have live election results.

2020 Poll Workers Needed

Across the country, elections officials are looking for more poll workers during early voting and on Election Day. As RetireGuide recently noted in its 2020 senior voting guide, 58 percent of poll workers in 2018 were age 60 and older.

Some of these positions are volunteer jobs, others are paying jobs. Election workers typically earn $185 to $350 each election cycle depending on their position. Bilingual workers are in especially high demand.

Various positions are available, including data entry, technical and IT support, customer service and more. At least two hours of training is required, and applicants must pass a basic skills test. You must also be a registered voter in the county.

Polling Worker Information by County

Citizen standing in line to vote carrying a small American flag

Key 2020 Voting Deadlines

  • Last day to register to vote in the general election: Oct. 5
  • Election Day: Nov. 3
  • Early voting: Varies by county

How Can I Learn More About Local Candidates?

Each county’s supervisor of elections website includes a section on current candidates. You can see all the candidates running for city and county races, including sheriff, school board, county commission, mayor and more.

You can click on a candidate’s name to view his or her photo, contact information, a short biography (usually written by the candidate) and a list of campaign contributions and expenses.

Candidates for federal, state and multi-county offices — including state attorney and U.S. congressional representatives — are found online through the Division of Elections of the Department of State.

To educate yourself on local candidates and issues you can also:

  • Follow candidates on social media
  • Read news articles from trustworthy sources (the Orlando Sentinel, Florida Politics, local TV stations, etc.)
  • Create Google Alerts on races and candidates you’re interested in
  • Look for online candidate forums and debates (these are often hosted via Zoom or Facebook Live by local political parties or nonpartisan groups like the League of Women Voters and the ACLU)
  • Communicate with candidates directly via email and social media

Voting with Disabilities

If you have a disability, voting by mail may be the easiest way to cast a ballot. You can vote in the privacy of your home and anyone can help you complete your ballot, if needed. Any voter can designate an immediate family member to request a ballot on their behalf.

Polling locations must be accessible by law, and every polling location must also be equipped with a touch screen, audio playback, magnifier or other accessible device for marking ballots. You can pick anyone — other than your employer — to help you complete your ballot inside the voting booth. No additional paperwork is required.

The supervisor of elections must also provide staff to help. If you need their assistance, an extra form is required, but staff can help you fill out this paperwork.

For specific information about the accessibility technology available in your county, contact your local supervisor of elections.

Transportation to Voting Precincts

Lyft has announced plans to partner with key national organizations — including the League of Women Voters and the National Federation of the Blind — to expand its voter program by offering free rides for the general election. According to a news release, Lyft partners will distribute ride codes directly to people in their networks identified as most in need of transportation.

Uber launched a similar program in 2018 but has yet to announce plans to continue it this year.

Local nonprofit and advocacy groups sometimes mobilize free rides to the polls. Look for updates.

Woman holding up an

FAQs

I’ve moved since the last time I voted. How do I update my address?

Visit the Florida Online Voter Registration System to change your address online. A voter can update their residential address all the way through Election Day.

My legal name has changed since I last voted. What do I do?

You must submit a completed Florida Voter Registration Application or a signed written notice that contains your date of birth and/or voter registration number to change your name.

Are ballots available in languages other than English?

By law, several counties — including Orange, Osceola and Seminole — are required to provide oral and written assistance as well as election-related materials such as forms, ballots and notices in Spanish.

Do I have to return my mail-in ballot through the mail?

No. You can drop it off at most early voting locations in your county. Or you can choose to vote in-person instead.

What kind of identification do I need to bring to the polls?

You need to present a valid ID and signature. A driver’s license, state ID or passport is the easiest option for most people.

However, if you don’t have any of these, you can present an alternative photo ID as long as it contains a signature, such as a student ID or military ID. The Florida Division of Elections provides a full list of acceptable forms of identification.

It’s also possible to vote without any identification by using what’s known as a provisional ballot. However, this process is complicated, and your ballot may not be counted.

Can I change my vote on a mail-in ballot if I change my mind?

No. Once the supervisor of elections office receives your ballot, your vote is cast.

What if I accidently threw out or misplaced my mail-in ballot?

Call your county’s supervisor of elections office. The elections office can send you up to two replacement ballots.