For Immediate Release
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Contact: Meredith Beatrice,
Secretary Detzner Provides Important Guidance to Florida Voters Regarding Voter Registration Deadline
Today, Secretary of State Ken Detzner issued the following statement and guidance to Florida voters. Any Floridian who is eligible to vote and has submitted a complete voter registration application by today, October 18, and is verified according to Florida law, will be able to vote by the start of mandatory statewide early voting, which begins on October 29.
Secretary of State Ken Detzner, said, “Our number one priority is to make sure that voters have the resources they need to have the opportunity to vote. Our goal is to encourage 100% voter participation and have zero percent fraud. The State of Florida is committed to ensuring that all Floridians who have registered to vote by the extended voter registration deadline can vote. All Floridians who submitted a complete voter registration application in person by 5 p.m. today, or postmarked by today, will be verified and registered to vote by the start of mandatory statewide early voting, which begins on October 29. That means if you registered by today’s deadline, are eligible, and your registration is verified, you will have all available options to exercise your right to vote, which include: vote-by-mail, early voting, and voting at the polls on Election Day.”
The 67 county Supervisors of Elections operate independently from the Department of State. 66 county Supervisors of Elections are independently elected. In Miami-Dade County, the Supervisor of Elections is appointed by the Mayor.
FLORIDA VOTER VERIFICATION PROCESS AND STATUS OF REGISTRATIONS SUBMITTED: From October 11-October 18, 36,823 Florida voter registration applications were verified and are now active in the Florida Voter Registration System database. There are currently 26,773 applications in the verification process, as outlined below. The Department will devote more than 65 staff members to assist in this process up until election day. Of this number, 19 staff members are trained and approved by the state to enter and handle sensitive voter information.
According to Florida law (Section 97.053, Florida Statutes), the process to verify a voter registration form as complete, verified, and eligible, is as follows:
- Step 1: Registration application is received by the Department of State or a county Supervisor of Elections office. Each county has their own county database which uploads the registration application to the Florida Voter Registration System (FVRS) database.
- Step 2: Once received in the FVRS:
- If a registration application is submitted with a Florida driver’s license or valid Florida state ID card, the registration application is electronically cross-checked and verified with Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).
- If a registration application is submitted with a social security number, the registration application is electronically cross-checked and verified with the federal Social Security Administration (SSA).
- Step 3: If verified by DHSMV or by the federal SSA, the applicant becomes a verified voter in Florida.
- Step 4: If identification information submitted on the registration application, and cross-checked with DHSMV, or the federal SSA, cannot be verified, the registration application is sent to the Department of State (DOS). Examiners at DOS conduct additional analysis to verify identification information through available records and also check for any possible data entry errors. If DOS verifies this information, the applicant becomes a verified voter in Florida.
- If DOS is unable to verify information using the above steps, the registration application is sent to the appropriate county Supervisor of Elections office. The county Supervisor of Elections office contacts the applicant and requests additional identification information needed to verify the registration application.
- Once received and verified by the Supervisor of Elections office, the applicant becomes a registered voter.
VOTER INFORMATION AS PUBLIC RECORD: According to Florida law, anyone who wants to request voter registration information in Florida may contact the Department at 850.245.6200 or your local county Supervisor of Elections office.
Secretary Detzner is sharing the following guidance with voters in need of more information on how to vote in Florida:
VOTE-BY-MAIL: All registered Florida voters have the option to vote-by-mail. The deadline for voters to request a vote-by-mail ballot to be mailed to them is on Wednesday, November 2. Voters can pick up a vote-by-mail ballot through Monday, November 7 from their respective Supervisor of Elections office. Vote-by-mail ballots must be received by the Supervisor of Elections office no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day. Additional information is available for overseas voters on the Division of Elections website. Voters are encouraged to request their vote-by-mail ballots as soon as possible.
VOTE-BY-MAIL BALLOT REQUESTS ON ELECTION DAY: If a voter or designee waits until Election Day to pick up a vote-by-mail ballot, the voter must also complete the Election Day Vote-by-Mail Ballot Delivery Affidavit (DS-DE 136 - English PDF/ Español PDF) in which the voter affirms that he or she has an emergency that keeps the voter from being able to go to his or her assigned polling place to vote.
EARLY VOTING: All registered Florida voters have the option to vote early at a designated early voting site in their county of residence. All 67 counties will have early voting from October 29 through November 5. Some counties may offer additional days of early voting. Contact your local Supervisor of Elections office for more information.
ELECTION DAY VOTING: All registered Florida voters have the option to vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8. On Election Day, polls will be open statewide from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. local time. Any voters waiting in line at 7:00 p.m. will have the opportunity to cast a ballot. If you do not know where your polling place is, contact your county Supervisor of Elections. You can also find your precinct and polling place on your county Supervisor of Elections' website or by using the Check Your Voter Status webpage.
ID REQUIREMENTS AT THE POLLS: According to the Florida Statutes, voters will be asked to provide a valid photo ID with signature at the polls during early voting and on Election Day. If the photo ID does not contain a signature, voters will be asked to provide another ID that has a signature. A voter who does not have an acceptable ID can still vote using a provisional ballot. In 2016, the Florida Legislature added 3 new categories of acceptable forms of IDs (chapter 2016-167, Laws of Florida) bringing the total number of acceptable forms of photo IDs to 12. The 12 forms of ID accepted are:
- Florida driver’s license
- Florida identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
- United States passport
- Debit or credit card
- Military identification
- Student identification
- Retirement center identification
- Neighborhood association identification
- Public assistance identification
- Veteran health identification card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs
- License to carry a concealed weapon or firearm issued pursuant to s. 790.06
- Employee identification card issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the Federal Government, the state, a county, or a municipality.
Voters in need of assistance are encouraged to call the state’s Voter Assistance Hotline at 1.866.308.6739 or contact their local Supervisor of Elections office. The Department of State is also offering access to many resources through its voter service website, YourVoteFlorida.com.
About the Division of Elections
The Florida Department of State’s Division of Elections supports the Secretary of State, Florida’s chief election officer, in ensuring that Florida has fair and accurate elections. The Division’s three bureaus; the Bureau of Election Records, Bureau of Voter Registration Services, and Bureau of Voting Systems Certification, have several responsibilities in the areas of legal compliance and elections administration to ensure that Florida’s election laws are uniformly interpreted and implemented. The Division also assists local Supervisors of Elections in their duties, and promotes enhanced public awareness and participation in the electoral process. For more information about Florida’s elections, visit dos.myflorida.com/elections/.
*Pursuant to Chapter 2016-37, Laws of Florida, beginning July 1, 2016, the term “Absentee Ballot” has changed to “Vote-by-Mail Ballot” in the State of Florida.