ORLANDO, Fla. — You've remembered your driver's license or picture ID, you have the right polling place, and yet you are turned away at the polls on Election Day.
What happens now?
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There are any number of reasons why you may be told you can't vote on Election Day. Maybe you've moved recently and haven't updated your registration. Maybe you haven't voted in a while and you've been marked as inactive.
This does not mean you should walk out of the precinct and not vote.
Here is what you should do.
DO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT POLLING PLACE?
- Make sure you have the right polling place. You can look up your polling place, which should be based on your current address, by going to your county elections office. We have links on our Decision 2018 Voting Guide.
- Know that if you haven't updated your address with the local elections office, you may be challenged at the polls. You can update your address if you moved within the county, and a poll worker can help either direct you to the right polling place or update your address.
- If you recently moved into the county, you need to call the supervisor of elections office in your county for help in handling your registration.
- You may be asked to fill out a provisional ballot, which will be counted once they verify your updated information.
- This information is taken from the Florida Division of Elections.
DO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT VOTER IDENTIFICATION?
The following photo IDs are accepted at polling places in Florida, according to the Florida Division of Elections:
- Florida driver's license
- A state-issued photo ID card
- United States passport
- A debit or credit card with a picture
- Military identification
- Student identification
- Retirement center identification
- Neighborhood association identification
- Public assistance identification
- Veteran health identification card issued by the VA office
- Concealed firearm license
- An employee ID card for any agency of the the federal, state or local government
The ID should include a signature. If it doesn't, you'll need to provide an extra ID with your signature.
If you do not have any of these IDs, you should still be allowed to vote through provisional ballot, which will then be further verified.
HAVE YOU BEEN TOLD YOUR REGISTRATION IS INACTIVE?
There is always a chance your voter registration has been marked inactive. This largely happens because you have not voted in a number of years, and you have also not had any communication with your county's elections office.
If you are marked down as "inactive," you should still go to your polling place. If you have not moved in those years since you voted, you should be able to confirm your information and be able to vote. If there is any further issue, you should contact your county elections office.
If your registration has been cancelled because you haven't voted in at least 4 years and have not communicated with the county elections office, then you will not be able to vote with a regular ballot. If you feel this is in an error, you can request a provisional ballot.
RECENTLY REGISTERED BUT NOT IN THE SYSTEM?
There was a flood of new voter registrations this year. Voter registration closed on October 9 in Florida.
If for any reason you are not in the system, take the following steps:
- Ask poll workers to check any surrounding systems for your name
- Ask to sign an affidavit swearing your eligibility
- Call or visit your local elections office if you are not being helped by poll workers
- Ask for a provisional ballot and follow up afterwards to make sure it's counted. You may have to provide additional information.
STILL BEING TURNED AWAY FROM THE POLLS?
Remember to be calm and clear in your intentions. Don't get aggressive or overly frustrated. Make it clear you are there to exercise your right to vote. Then call local election officials to report any ill treatment by poll workers and to get help voting.
If you are still not getting satisfaction, you can call the following numbers:
- Florida Voter Assistance Hotline: 1-866-308-6739
- Florida Voter Fraud Hotline: 1-877-868-3737
- The U.S. Dept. of Justice Voting Rights Hotline: 1-800-253-3931
If you need further help, a coalition of civil rights groups have an election protection hotline to report issues. The hotline is supported by the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, and the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights.
- 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
- 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
- 1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
- 1-844-418-1682 (Arabic)