ORLANDO, Fla. – The general election is Nov. 8, which means all voters have a chance to decide who will lead them in all levels of government.
The midterm elections could decide the balance of power in a split U.S. House and Senate, could lead to a new governor or new members of the Florida Cabinet, and could mean new county commissioners or school board members.
Then there are constitutional amendments and ballot questions, like a transportation sales tax in Orange County.
Here’s what you need to know to vote in the 2022 Florida general election.
Offices up for election
In the November election, Floridians will decide on federal, state and local races.
- Florida governor
- Florida Cabinet seats
- U.S. Senator
- U.S. House races
- Florida Senate and House races
- County commission races
- School board runoff races
- State court judgeships and whether to keep some Florida Supreme Court justices
- 3 Florida Constitution amendments
- And county and city charter amendments and other ballot issues
Key Races to Watch
News 6 will have results for all of the races on election night, but some races bear more scrutiny than others. These are our Key Races to Watch. As we publish articles on these races, you can find them in the links below.
Are you registered to vote?
Voter registration for the November election is Oct. 11, so be sure to get your voter registration in by then.
Election supervisors across Central Florida have been busy processing new registrations.
Even if you can’t get your voter registration in person, you can still register online at Register to Vote Florida.gov.
“You can do it online, but the key part is if you do it online, it’s got to match up with your driver’s license and capture your signature,” Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles said.
If you are registered to vote, you can check the status of your voter registration by going to your county supervisor of elections website. You can also look up your sample ballot so you can see who and what you will be voting for. Check out the map below to find your county information.
If you look up your voter status and it says “inactive,” you need to contact your county supervisor of elections office. Once you do that, you should be able to vote in the August primary.
Voting by mail
You have until Oct. 29 to request a vote-by-mail ballot from your county supervisor of elections office.
That request can be:
- Called in
- Made in person at the office
- Mailed, faxed or emailed in. If you do this, you must provide a signed request (in the case of an email, you must scan a signed letter and send it in as an attachment)
All requests must have this information:
- Voter’s full name
- Date of birth
- The voter’s Florida driver’s license number, identification card number, or last four digits of their social security number
In a new change by the Florida Legislature, those identification numbers are required to be on file with the county supervisor of elections office in order to get your vote-by-mail ballot request approved.
Once you get your ballot, you must fill it out and return it to the county supervisor of elections office by 7 p.m. on Nov. 8. Don’t forget to sign the envelope.
You can return it by:
- Mailing it
- Turning it into the county supervisor of elections office
- Dropping it off at a Secure Ballot Intake Station (formerly known as drop boxes), located at early voting locations in your county. All counties will have these stations during early voting hours.
We have more details about voting by mail, including tips for mailing the ballot, how many vote-by-mail ballots one person can turn in, and more HERE.
The early voting period is different depending on the county, but most counties in Central Florida will begin early voting on Oct. 24 and end by Nov. 5.
Voters will be able to vote at early voting locations throughout the county, or at the county supervisor of elections office.
To vote, you need to bring a form of identification with a picture and a signature.
To find out what forms of identification are allowed, and what to do if you don’t have an ID, click HERE.
- Early Voting – Oct. 24 through Nov. 6, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Early Voting – Oct. 24 through Nov. 6, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Early Voting – Oct. 24 through Nov. 6, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Early Voting – Oct. 26 through Nov. 5, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Early Voting – Oct. 24 through Nov. 5, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Early Voting – Oct. 27 through Nov. 5, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Primary Early Voting – Oct. 24 through Nov. 5, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Early Voting – Oct. 24 through Nov. 5, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Early Voting – Oct. 25 through Nov. 5, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Early Voting – Oct. 24-Nov. 5, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Drop boxes have a new name
In 2021, Florida lawmakers tried to get rid of ballot drop boxes, but in the end, they just changed the name and mandated monitoring.
Ballot drop boxes were extremely popular amid the pandemic in 2020, because people could drop their vote-by-mail ballots off without having to go into a polling place or using the postal service.
In Central Florida, county elections offices had them at early voting locations and, in some cases, the elections offices themselves.
Now, these drop boxes are called “secure ballot intake stations.” But we asked every Central Florida elections supervisor if there would be any other difference between 2020 and 2022, and the answer was generally “no.”
“Those fancy-sounding stations are the same items as the former drop boxes, just renamed,” Lake County supervisor Alan Hays said. “The renaming necessitated the changing of all the signage associated with the boxes but nothing more has changed.”
All counties will have secure ballot intake stations at early voting places during polling hours for people who want to vote by mail and turn their ballots in. You can also always take your ballots to the county supervisor of elections offices.
Meanwhile, all counties will have monitored drop boxes in all early voting locations where people can drop off their vote-by-mail ballots.
Voting on Election Day
If you prefer to vote on Nov. 8, you will head to your assigned precinct. To find your precinct, look up your voter information on your county’s supervisor of elections website. We have the links below.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and remember, if you are in line to vote at 7 p.m., stay in line, you cannot be turned away.