Get Ready, Get Set, VOTE!

THE STARTING POINT – STEP ONE:

  • Verify that you are registered to vote.
  • You should have received a new Voter Identification Card this summer. Sign the card and check to see that your name, address and party affiliation are correct.
  • The card indicates your US Congress, State Senate, State House and local districts.  It also lists your polling location on primary/election day August 30.
  • If you choose not to vote-by-mail or vote early, you will need to vote at the polling location listed on your card.
  • If you didn’t get a card and are not sure if you are registered, or if you don’t know the numbers of your districts or your polling location click here to go to the Supervisor of Elections (SOE) website to find this information.

STEP TWO:

  • Confirm that you are registered
  • If you are not registered, or your political party is incorrect, contact your Supervisor of Elections (SOE) www.pbcelections.org to register or correct your information. 
  • If you are not registered, you have missed the deadline to vote in the August election. However, you don’t want to miss out on voting in the November General Election.  Don’t get stuck in the maze, call today to get registered
  • If, for any reason, your registration ended up as being listed as “No party” (rather than the political party you thought you were registered with), you can still vote for all the non-partisan offices and for the constitutional amendment on August 30.   These votes are also important.  So keep going!

STEP THREE:
There are three different paths you can take to vote (and they all work!):

BY MAIL – Contact the SOE by AUGUST 24 to request an application.   Your ballot must be received at the SOE Main Office by 7:00 p.m. on AUGUST 30 in order to be counted. (Read the instructions carefully!  Don’t forget to SIGN the Voter’s Certificate Envelope before mailing your ballot and attach adequate postage. If you decide you would prefer to vote at the polls bring your signed envelope with you.

EARLY VOTING –Palm Beach County early voting starts AUGUST 15th Please note, it is unlikely that your own polling location is an early voting site, so you must check the SOE website www.pbcelections.org for early voting locations.

AT THE POLLS – Election Day is AUGUST 30. You must vote at your own polling location on that day, which can be found on your Voter ID Card or at your SOE’s site. Remember to bring one of the following current, valid picture IDs with a signature: 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 US 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, or agency of the Federal Government, the state, a county, or a municipality.

If your photo ID does not include your signature, you will be asked to provide an additional ID that has your signature.

STEP FOUR:
Now comes the hard part.  How do you figure out which candidates deserve your vote? 

  • Start with a customized Sample Ballot.  You should have received one in the mail, but if you didn’t, go to the SOE website www.pbcelections.org, enter your address and party affiliation to create your sample ballot. Note, you are allowed to bring these sample ballots with you to the polling locations.
  • If you don’t know the candidates personally, you need to find out about them and there are several ways to do so.
    • The League of Women Voters Guides. Go to Vote411 to check out the electronic voter’s guide for in-depth information and the candidate’s responses to questions on the issues.
    • Very basic information about the candidates can be found at the Florida Department of State’s website .
    • For detailed information about candidates for the Circuit and County Courts, see www.floridabar.org/JudicialCandidates.  Each of the candidates was given the opportunity to fill out a Voluntary Self-disclosure Statement and all their responses are recorded.  This can give you a very useful picture of the candidates.
    • You can also search the candidate’s name on Google or another search engine.  Most candidates have web-sites and Facebook pages.  Frequently they list the groups & individuals who have endorsed them. 
    • Most of the major newspapers in the state sit down to talk with the candidates and/or give them a questionnaire.  They write columns on the candidates and frequently provide endorsements.  This is a good place to look.  Check out your local newspaper.
    • Finally, read the gigantic “postcards” from the candidates that are filling your mailbox. I know they are not very informative — but, that in itself, may be informative!

What about Constitutional Amendment #4: Florida Tax Exemptions for Renewable Energy?

  • For the Ballot Summary and the full text of the amendment click here
  • A vote “for” the measure would extend property tax exemptions for solar power and other renewable energy equipment for commercial properties.
  • A vote “against” the measure would prevent property tax exemptions for commercial properties for renewable energy equipment.
  • The League of Women Voters is supporting this along with many other groups. It is opposed by the utility companies.  For more analysis and the history of the amendment click here 

STEP 5:   VOTE!

EXIT THE MAZE:   Get FIVE of your Friends to Vote as well!
GET READY GET SET VOTE- maze

Congratulations!

You have made it through the maze and

exercised your responsibilities as a citizen of this state and nation.

Thank you Linda Geller-Schwartz, VP Advocacy, National Council of Jewish women Palm Beach County, for working with us to help solve the maze.