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Election Myths


MYTH:  If you don't receive your ballot by 7 p.m. on Election Day, you won't be allowed to vote. 
FACT:  All voters in line at their proper polling place at 7 p.m. on Election Day will be allowed to vote, regardless of the length of the line.

MYTH:  You must have your voter information card in order to vote. 
FACT: The voter information card is not necessary to vote. It is a helpful tool for the voter to know their districts & polling location.

MYTH:  You will not be allowed to vote if the address on your driver's license does not match the address on your voter registration record.
FACT: The address on the driver's license does not need to match the address in the voter registration record. If you have moved and haven't changed your driver's license to reflect your new address, that's okay. What is important is that you vote in the precinct where you currently live, no matter what your driver's license says.

MYTH:  If you wear partisan or campaign attire to your polling place, you won't be allowed to vote. 
FACT: Voters may wear t-shirts, buttons, hats, etc., which express their political preferences as long as they are not actively campaigning in the polling place or within the 100 foot zone around it.

MYTH:  If you are a Florida college student, you must change your permanent residence to your college address. 
FACT: Students can maintain their voter registration at their hometown address, or they may register to vote in the jurisdiction where they attend school. Those who choose to maintain an Okeechobee County registration will want to remember to contact our office for vote by mail (absentee) ballots at election time.

MYTH: Voters need a REASON to request a vote by mail (absentee) ballot. 
FACT: Florida is a no-excuse vote by mail (absentee) ballot state. Any qualified (registered) voter is permitted to vote by mail (absentee) under Florida law. However, the law now requires a written request signed by the voter if the request is to mail the vote by mail (absentee) ballot to an address other than the legal residence or mailing address on file. This provision does not apply to absent uniformed service voters or overseas voters. (F.S. 101.62 effective 1/1/14)

In order to request a vote by mail (absentee) ballot on Election Day, the voter must complete an affidavit affirming that he or she has an emergency that prevents them from being able to vote at their designated polling place.

MYTH:  You can return your voted vote by mail (absentee) ballot to your polling place on Election Day. 
FACT: Vote by Mail (absentee) ballots can only be returned to the Supervisor of Elections office either in person by the voter or someone of their choice, or by mail. If you receive a vote by mail (absentee) ballot and then decide to vote at the polls, you should take your mail (absentee) ballot with you and give it to the poll workers, who will then contact the Elections Office to determine if the mail (absentee) ballot has been received by or returned to the Elections Office. If it is determined the ballot has not been received they will cancel that ballot and allow you to vote a regular ballot. If you do not have your ballot with you and the Elections Office is unable to determine if the ballot has been received of if the voter disagrees with their determination, the voter will be allowed to vote a provisional ballot.

MYTH:  Vote by Mail (Absentee) ballots, Early Vote ballots and/or Provisional ballots are not counted unless the race is close. 
FACT: All vote by mail (absentee) ballots are counted if properly executed, which includes making sure the return envelope is signed and that the signature matches the voter's signature on the voter registration database.

All early vote ballots are counted as each voter puts his/her ballot in the tabulator, in the same way as ballots cast at polling places are counted on Election Day. The tabulators accumulate all ballots cast, are closed out and results generated after 7 p.m. on Election Day.

All provisional ballots are checked against the voter database and if it can be confirmed that the voter was or should have been duly registered, had not voted previously, and was in the proper polling place, the ballot is counted and added to the final results.

MYTH:  If you don't vote every two years, you lose your eligibility to vote. 
FACT: If you do not and have not had contact with the Elections Office for a two year period, you will be mailed an address confirmation notice. If you return the notice, your registration remains active; if you do not return the notice or it is returned by the postal service as undeliverable, your registration will be put in an inactive status. Voters in an inactive status may still vote by confirming or updating their address at the polls or when they request a vote by mail (absentee) ballot. If your registration is in an inactive status and you do not vote in the next two General Elections (the November election in even numbered years), then your registration is cancelled and you must re-register to be eligible to vote.

MYTH:  If you vote for too many candidates in a contest or don't vote in a race, your entire ballot won't count. 
FACT: If you do not vote for any candidate or vote for more candidates than are allowed in a contest, only that contest will be affected; any other contests in which you vote for the allowed number of candidates will be counted. In addition, when early voting or voting at your polling place, the tabulators will alert you that you have over-voted in a race; this gives you the opportunity to request another ballot if you would like to correct the situation.

MYTH:  If you are homeless, you are not allowed to vote. 
FACT: A homeless voter is eligible to vote as long as he or she intends to remain in the locale and has an effective mailing address or a place where he or she can receive messages. The voter is assigned a precinct based on the location of his/her mailing address or designated place to receive messages.

MYTH:  If your house is foreclosed on, you are not allowed to vote. 
FACT: If you are still living in your house, regardless of whether or not it has been foreclosed on, you can vote using the address of the house. If you have left your house, you can still vote, BUT you must change your address, either before Election Day or at your polling place, to the place where you now live.

MYTH:  If you owe back child support or have outstanding warrants, you will be arrested if you attempt to vote. 
FACT: The voter rolls in each polling place have no indicator of whether an individual has any outstanding warrants. In addition, state law prohibits law enforcement from entering a polling place without being summoned by the poll workers.