ORLANDO, Fla. – The November election is just around the corner but even before then, there are some pretty important dates voters will want to make note of.
Voting day for the general election, during which citizens will cast votes for the candidates they hope to see fill national, state, county or district offices, is Nov. 3. Many Americans will head to the polls that day to vote for their preferred presidential candidate and others hoping to win either local, state or federal races while many others will have already cast their ballots weeks before then.
To make sure you don’t miss any important deadlines in the upcoming election, you’ll want to jot the following dates down in your calendar:
Voter registration deadline: Oct. 5
First things first, you’ll want to make sure you’re registered to vote in the general election. Otherwise, the other dates in this story won’t mean much. Floridians have until Oct. 5, 29 days before Election Day, to register to vote. To register or find out if you’re registered to vote in Florida, click here.
[INTERACTIVE: Use graphic below for everything you need to know about early, mail-in and absentee voting in each U.S. state]
Other important dates
Vote-by-mail ballot send deadline for UOCAVA voters: Sept. 19
For vote-by-mail ballot requests on record, Florida law requires that the ballots be sent to voters who already have requests on file during specified timeframes, according to the Florida Department of State’s elections page. For absent stateside and overseas uniformed service member and overseas civilian voters, or UOCAVA voters, supervisors of elections send the ballots no later than 45 days before an election, according to the state. The deadline for those ballots to be sent ahead of the general election is Sept. 19.
Anyone who wishes to vote by mail in the general election must request a mail-in ballot by Oct. 24.
Vote-by-mail ballot send deadline for domestic voters: Sept. 24 - Oct. 1
For domestic voters, vote-by-mail ballots are sent during a seven-day window between 40 and 33 days before an election. This year, the send period for supervisors of elections to send vote-by-mail ballots to domestic voters to use in the general election runs from Sept. 24 through Oct. 1.
Request vote-by-mail ballot: Oct. 24
The deadline to request that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed is no later than 5 p.m. on the 10th day before the general election, according to state elections officials. This year, the deadline to request that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed falls on the afternoon of Oct. 24.
Early voting period : Oct. 24-31
Florida law requires that early voting be held for at least for eight days. The mandatory early voting period for the general election begins Oct. 24 and runs through Oct. 31. Each county’s supervisor of elections may offer additional early voting days on the following dates, according to the state: Oct. 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 and Nov. 1.
Voters should check with their local supervisor of elections office to see if and when additional early voting days are offered in their county.
Election Day: Nov. 3
On this day, voters who did not cast their ballots early or vote by mail may head to their polling place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to vote in the general election. Voters must be in line by the time the polls close at 7 p.m. to cast a ballot. Not sure what to bring to the polls, or where you should cast your vote? Click here to find out.
Nov. 3 is also the deadline for mail-in-ballots to be returned and received. They must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted, according to state elections officials.
NOTE: The United States Postal Service recommends that domestic nonmilitary voters, mail back their voted ballots at least one week before the Election Day deadline to account for any unforeseen events or weather issues. A 10-day extension exists only for overseas voters for the Presidential Preference Primary and General Election only.
For more coverage of the upcoming election, visit ClickOrlando.com/results2020.