Highlighting Tampa

How to Register, Vote and Track Your Ballot in Florida

Posted on 08/17/23 by Andrew Soergel, Elissa Chudwin

En español | Florida allows all registered voters to request a mail ballot without a reason or vote early and in person. A 2021 law requires voters to request an absentee ballot yearly and limits the use of drop boxes, among other changes.

The next statewide elections in 2024 include races for seats in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and state legislature. The presidential preference primary will be Tuesday, March 19, 2024; the primary will be held Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2024; and the general election will be on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2024.

Early Voting Begins In Florida

  • Voting by mail: All registered voters can request a no-excuse vote-by-mail ballot. Requests must be made for each year that you plan to vote by mail.
  • Early in-person voting: Counties must open early voting at least 10 days before Election Day, though some may open them earlier.
  • In-person voting on Election Day: You’ll need to bring a valid form of ID, such as a current Florida driver’s license, whether you’re voting on Election Day or at an early voting location.

A 2023 law mandates the creation of a statewide vote-by-mail application and tightens regulations for voter registration organizations. Litigation is ongoing.

A 2021 election law limits drop box availability, changes how often voters must request mail ballots and introduces new ID requirements. After months of litigation, a court of appeals decision reinstated several parts of the law previously deemed unconstitutional by a district judge.

Redistricting may affect which candidates appear on your ballot. Litigation over the state’s congressional districts is ongoing.

  • Online: Use the state’s voter registration portal to register, check your registration status or update your registration information. You’ll need a Florida driver’s license or state-issued ID card, the issued date of your license or ID, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. Otherwise you’ll need to print and sign your registration form, then mail it or bring it to your county supervisor of elections.
  • In person: Go to your county supervisor of elections office to pick up, drop off or fill out a registration form. Forms are also available at public libraries and offices authorized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to issue fishing, hunting or trapping permits.

The registration deadline is Monday, July 22, 2024, for the primary and Monday, Oct. 7, 2024, for the general election.

It does in a partisan primary election in Florida. Only voters who are registered with a party may vote in that party’s primary. Independent voters can only vote for nonpartisan candidates in judicial and school board elections or in races in which all candidates have the same party affiliation and won’t face any opposition in the general election.

Any registered voter can request a no-excuse vote-by-mail ballot. You’ll need to submit a new request each year.

When making your request, include your full name, address, date of birth, and Florida driver’s license or state-issued ID card — or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Written requests also must include your signature.

Request a mail ballot:

Vote-by-mail ballot requests must be received by 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2024, for the primary and Saturday, Oct. 24, 2024, for the general election. Find deadlines for overseas and military voters on the elections website.

You can designate an immediate family member — such as a spouse, parent, child, grandparent, grandchild or sibling — to request a ballot on your behalf. They’ll need to provide the necessary personal information listed above as well as their own address, signature, relationship to you, and a copy of a valid state-issued ID or the last four digits of their Social Security number.

You can also have a designee pick up your ballot if they complete a separate affidavit. However, designees are limited to picking up two ballots — other than their own and their immediate family members’ ballots — per election.

If an emergency prevents you from going to the polls on Election Day, you can sign an emergency affidavit and pick up a vote-by-mail ballot on the day of the election.

Election officials must receive completed ballots by Election Day at 7 p.m. Ballots can be returned by mail or in person.

  • By mail: Follow the instructions included with your voting materials. Leave at least a week for your ballot to make it through the mail.

Use the state’s vote-by-mail information portal to track the status of your vote-by-mail ballot.

Yes. all counties must let voters cast ballots early and in person beginning 10 days before an election. For the 2024 elections, that’s Thursday, Aug. 10, through Saturday, Aug. 17, for the primary; and Saturday, Oct. 26, through Saturday, Nov. 2, for the general election. Some counties may choose to offer additional early voting days. Check with your county supervisor of elections for times and locations closer to Election Day.

You'll be allowed to vote after polls close as long as you were in line beforehand. Use the state's voter information portal to find your assigned polling place.

Yes — you’ll need to bring a valid form of ID such as a state-issued driver’s license, military ID or a U.S. passport, whether you’re voting on Election Day or at an early voting location.

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Aug. 17, 2023, with more information about voting in Florida. The guide was first published on July 20, 2020.

More from AARP in Tampa

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events

Only $12 your first year with Automatic Renewal
  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to AARP The Magazine
  • FREE second membership
Already a member? Renew or Print Card

Contact AARP
in Tampa Bay