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The State We're In connects with people in Central Florida and the greater Tampa Bay region about issues that matter to you. From the coronavirus to special coverage of politics along the I-4 corridor, it’s a chance to hear your neighbors, and better understand their experience.The State We’re In is a collaboration of WUSF Public Media in Tampa and 90.7 WMFE in Orlando and is part of America Amplified, a national community engagement and reporting initiative supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.[Join Us On Facebook]

Election Day Tips To Make Voting Easier

Mary Shedden

Voting officials are expecting a busy Election Day, but fewer in person because of the coronavirus pandemic. Everything you need to know before you enter polling locations today.

Election Day is finally here, and while a large number of Floridians have already voted, there are things people going to the polling place in person need to know.

Before you go to vote, you should make sure that you have a valid identification with you that includes a photo and a signature. To find out which forms of ID are acceptable, go to the Florida Divisions of Elections website.

If you need to know more about what is on Florida’s ballots, visit Ballotpedia.org.

On Election Day, people voting-in person can only cast a ballot at their assigned polling location. You can find out where that is on your local county Supervisor of Elections’ website. There you can find your polling place, as well as a sample ballot.

If you opted for a mail-in ballot, it is not too late to get your vote in. Floridians can drop off ballots to their county’s elections offices until 7 p.m. Tuesday. Drop boxes are typically not permitted at polling places on Election Day.

As long as a ballot is received by the county supervisor of elections by 7 p.m. Tuesday, it will be counted.

When voting, the more informed you are, the better. People are allowed to bring notes, either on paper or electronically, into the voting booth.

This year, in-person voting comes with concerns and precautions because of the coronavirus pandemic.

While masks are not mandatory, elections officials are encouraging people to wear them inside polling places, which have also put into place such precautions as socially distanced lines and single-use pens or pencils.

Voting officials across the state are expecting a busy Election Day - but probably not as many people will vote in person as usual because of the pandemic. As of Monday morning, nearly nine million Floridians have already voted, either during early voting or vote-by mail.

That’s over 62 percent of the state’s 14.4 million registered voters.

Four years ago, almost 75 percent of the state’s registered voters cast ballots in the general election.

The modern record is 83 percent in 1992.

A winner is not expected to be declared on Election Day. On December 14, Electoral College electors cast their votes depending on the results from their states.

And on January 20, 2021, the terms of the sitting president and vice president will end at noon and the winner of the election will be inaugurated.

Rachel Giannelli is a WUSF/USF Zimmerman School digital news intern for the fall of 2020.
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