2020 VOTER GUIDE: Everything you need to know ahead of the presidential election

See sample ballot, find polling place ahead of Nov. 3 election

Voting day
Voting day (Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels)

ORLANDO, Fla. – As if 2020 hasn’t been busy enough, presidential election season is officially upon us and there are a few important things voters should know before filling out their ballots.

On Nov. 3, America will either re-elect President Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s nominee, to spend another term in the White House, or choose to give Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden, or one of the other many candidates in the running, a chance to lead the country for the next four years.

Citizens who are eligible to vote will also be casting ballots in other important federal, state and local races and a number of amendments in Florida.

[REGISTER TO VOTE: How to check your voter registration status in Florida | News 6 to host voter registration phone bank]

Let’s tackle the first part of that sentence -- the “citizens who are eligible” part. First things first, if you’d like to vote in any election, you must register to do so. Click here to check your voter registration status.

The deadline to register to vote in the November election is Oct. 5. If you miss it and have to sit this one out, you can still make sure your voter registration information is up to date to ensure you can participate in the next election.

[MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Make sure you know these important dates ahead of the general election]

If you’re registered and ready to vote in the general election, the next step is getting familiar with the races and amendments you can expect to see on your ballot. Of course, those will vary based on where you live, along with where you cast your ballot and how soon you can vote.

The best way to get familiar with what you’ll likely see on your ballot is to study a sample version. If your county has already provided one ahead of the election, you’ll be able to access it below. As far as when you can vote, 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. If your county’s supervisor of elections offers additional early voting days, you’ll be able to find those dates below, as well as details on polling place locations and vote-by-mail information.

Below is a county-by-county breakdown of information Central Florida voters need to know, specific to where they live.

Orange County

*NOTE: Early voters may vote at any early voting location, while those who wait until Election Day must vote at their assigned polling place, according to Orange County elections officials.

Get more information about voting in Orange County here.

Seminole County

Get more information about voting in Seminole County here.

Osceola County

Get more information about voting in Osceola County here.

Volusia County

Get more information about voting in Volusia County here.

Brevard County

Get more information about voting in Brevard County here.

Marion County

Get more information about voting in Marion County here.

Flagler County

Get more information about voting in Flagler County here.

Lake County

*NOTE: Early voting locations differ from assigned Election Day polling places. Click here to find out where you can cast your ballot early in Lake County.

Get more information about voting in Lake County here.

Sumter County

Get more information about voting in Sumter County here.

Polk County

Get more information about voting in Polk County here.

Key races

While every elected position and amendment is important, there are some ballot items voters are keeping a closer eye on than others this year. Once sample ballots are finalized in each county, check back to this story for a list of key races.

A full list of offices up for election in 2020 can be found here.

Voting during the COVID-19 pandemic

As Florida continues to report new coronavirus infections daily, Supervisor of Elections Offices in Central Florida are stepping up safety and sanitization protocols to protect voters when they cast their ballots in the general election.

Click here to see some of the coronavirus-related precautions Central Florida counties are implementing at the polls.

For more information on Central Florida elections, head to Clickorlando.com/results2020.

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