Don’t miss out on voting because of technicalities

Voting for the presidential election officially started yesterday in Florida. With the actual voting process being increasingly complex this year, here are a couple of tips and definitions to keep the student voter sane.

Early Voting
This is a great option for students worried about time constraints and lines on Nov. 2. Many libraries and the elections offices will be open for voting from Oct. 18 to Nov. 1. For those registered back home that are going back for fall break, this is a good alternative to absentee ballots. Check with the local Supervisor of Elections Office for locations and times.

Absentee Ballots
Those who are out of the county in which they are registered and will not be going home for Nov. 2 or early voting must request an absentee ballot from their county elections office in order to vote. The office sends a ballot to the voter in the mail, and the voter in turn mails them back. Remember to follow directions and put two stamps on the ballot when it is sent back.
There are new laws that dictate the absentee ballot process. In Florida, first-time voters who registered by mail must show a proof of identification to their Supervisor of Elections Office before sending in their ballots. If this does not happen, the vote will not be counted.

Voter Registration Cards
Many students have not yet received their voter registration cards in the mail. One can vote without a registration card, but he or she must be on the “voter rolls.” To check if one is in the election offices records, he must call the Supervisor of Elections for the county in which he is registered to vote.
Students voting on Nov.2 should be aware that a ‘Cane Card is considered a legal form of ID. For those registered with on campus addresses, the polling place is the Convocation Center.

Provisional Ballots
Do not be turned away from the polls without voting. If a poll worker says that someone is not on the voter rolls, it is possible to fill out a provisional ballot. It is still a valid ballot, except that it is counted at the end of the night rather than immediately.

>> For more information on voting, students should call or visit the website of their local Supervisor of Elections.

Shree Chauhan can be contacted at