Tallahassee, FL — On Aug. 26, Florida had its worst voter turnout in 16 years. Only 17.5 percent of the state’s 11.8 million voters actually voted on or before election day. The previous dubious record was set in 1998 when only 16.6 percent of voters cast ballots in the primary election.
“Florida voters have no excuses for not casting their ballots,” says League president Deirdre Macnab. “The key to our state’s future is in every voter’s hands. Critical issues are at stake from the Governor’s race, to our next Legislature. From clean water, to quality public schools, to jobs, and affordable healthcare, candidates have very different visions and ideas. It’s exciting, it’s our future! Every registered voter needs to ask themselves: Am I a player, or am I deadwood?”
Across the state, League volunteers are working hard, handing out voter guides and explaining that Floridians have three ways to vote:
EARLY: The Sunshine State’s early voting window opens Monday, Oct. 20.
BY MAIL: Voters can simply call their Supervisor of Elections and ask to receive a mail-in ballot.
ELECTION DAY: To check your correct polling location, visit www.BeReadyToVote.org and make sure you that you know where to go to cast your ballot.
The League, which has never endorsed a candidate or party in its 90-plus years of service, recently published a statewide voter guide as well as many local editions. In addition, the League has published its annual nonpartisan Voting Tips for Florida Voters as a FAQ refresher for both experienced voters as well as novices.
The League’s award-winning desktop and mobile websites (www.BeReadyToVote.org and www.VamosAVotar.org) provide concise voting information via your desktop PC or smartphone: early voting location hours, contact information for all 67 Supervisors of Elections, return-postage rates for absentee ballots (note: each county is different), precinct information and links to the League’s 2014 Nonpartisan Voter Guide.
Things to note:
If you choose to vote early, you have the flexibility to vote anywhere in the county in which you live. However, if you wait to vote until election day, you must go to your assigned precinct.
Voters still have time to request a mail ballot (absentee). This can be done with a call to your local Supervisor of Elections. Any Floridian can request a no-excuse vote by mail ballot. Absentee ballots have already been mailed to most voters who requested them.
“It’s an exciting year for Florida. We urge everyone to make their voice heard!” says Charley Williams, the League’s Voter Service Chair. “Vote on your schedule. Just remember, with three ways to cast your ballot, election day — Nov. 4 — is the last day to vote.”
Get all of your election information in one place. The League of Women Voters of Florida has made it easy: desktop, mobile and app for Android: BeReadytoVote.org and VamosAVotar.org.by