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Voter Guide

Hillsborough County

Voter Guide
Hillsborough County

Dear Voter,

Please take a few moments to read through this Table of Contents

Voter Guide. This guide contains information about Voter Registration........................................................4
voter registration, the voting process (including
Vote By Mail, Early Voting, and Election Day voting), Update Your Record ....................................................5
voting equipment, election dates, and frequently Voting by Mail and Voting Early ................................6
asked questions.
What to Expect at the Polls..........................................8
Also, please visit our website at www.VoteHillsborough.org Frequently Asked Questions........................................11
for information about current elections, polling place
Voter Rights and Responsibilities................................13
lists, sample ballots, becoming a poll worker, elected
officials, and voter statistics. Election Dates ..............................................................14
Supervisor of Elections Offices ...................................15
As always, feel free to contact me if you would like any
additional information or have any ideas you would like
to share about how I can better serve you.

I am enthusiastic about being your partner in democracy,

and am working to make sure that Hillsborough County
is the best place in America to vote!

Earl Lennard
Supervisor of Elections

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Voter registration Update yoUr record

Deadlines Update your voter registration record to avoid delays

at the polls on Election Day
• Update your address by calling the Supervisor of
• Voter registration deadline is 29 days prior to
Elections office at (813) 272-5850.
any election.
• Update your name, address, party or signature by
• You must be registered with a political party in
completing a voter registration application with
order to vote in that party’s primary election.
the changes and mailing or delivering it to any
• Any political party change must be made at least Elections office.
29 days prior to a partisan primary election in order
• Download a voter registration application on-line at
to be valid in that election.
www.VoteHillsborough.org, fill it out, and mail or
deliver to any Elections office.
You must: Bring Proper Identification
• Be a United States citizen and a Florida resident. Florida law requires voters to present current and valid
• Be at least 18 years old, or you may preregister if photo and signature identification when voting early or
you are 16 years old. at the polls. Without valid and current ID, a voter may
• Have no current court judgment of mental incapacity vote a provisional ballot, which will be evaluated by the
with respect to voting in Florida or any other state. Canvassing Board for eligibility.
• Have no felony conviction, or have your rights Acceptable valid and current forms of ID include:
restored by law if ever convicted of a felony. Contact • Florida Driver License • Military ID
the Office of Executive Clemency at (850) 488-2952 • Florida ID Card issued • Student ID
to confirm your rights are restored. by the Department of • Retirement Center ID
• Be registered only in this county and state, and Highway Safety and
• Neighborhood
acknowledge that any prior registration will be Motor Vehicles
Association ID
disclosed and cancelled. • U.S. Passport
• Public Assistance ID
• Debit or Credit Card
• Supervisor of Elections offices (see page 15) Florida’s Primary Elections
• Driver license offices Florida has closed primaries. Only voters registered with
• Public assistance offices a political party may vote in that party’s primary election.
• Public libraries All registered voters, regardless of party affiliation, may
vote on issues and nonpartisan races. If all candidates in a
• Offices that serve people with disabilities
race have the same party affiliation and the winner of the
• Armed forces recruiting offices primary election will have no opposition in the general
• Centers for independent living election, all eligible voters, regardless of party affiliation,
• Online at www.VoteHillsborough.org – you can may vote in the primary election for that race. This is
download an application known as a universal primary.

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Voting By Mail and Voting early

Requesting a Mail Ballot Voting Your Mail Ballot

• Any registered voter may vote by mail. Use a black ink pen to completely
• Florida law requires that ALL accepted mail ballots fill in the oval next to each
be included in the official final election results. selection on your ballot. Correct
• A request for mail ballots is good through up to two
federal general election cycles, and may be cancelled
Returning Your Voted Mail Ballot
at any time. To return your voted mail ballot:
• The deadline to request a ballot to be mailed to you 1. Insert it into the secrecy envelope/sleeve.
is 5 p.m. on the 6th day prior to an election. 2. Insert the secrecy envelope/sleeve into the
• To request a mail ballot, return envelope.
call (813) 612-4180, fax (813) 612-4199, 3. Seal the return envelope.
send an email to absentee@hcsoe.org
4. Sign and date the back of the return envelope.
or visit www.VoteHillsborough.org
5. Put the required postage on the return envelope.
Requesting your mail ballot: 6. Mail your ballot (we must receive your ballot by
The voter must provide: 7 p.m. on Election Day, so be sure to mail it early
enough so it will be delivered by Election Day), or
• Voter’s name and home address
deliver your ballot to an Elections Office by 7 p.m.
• Voter’s date of birth on Election Day. You may also drop off your ballot
• Voter’s mailing address, if different from at any Early Voting site.
home/resident address A voted ballot cannot be accepted at a polling place
on Election Day. If you have received a Vote By Mail
Requesting mail ballots for others: ballot and wish to vote at your precinct on Election Day
An immediate family member or guardian may request a or at any Early Voting location, please bring your
ballot for you; they must provide: Vote By Mail ballot with you. A poll worker will
• Voter’s information (as listed above) “cancel” that ballot so you can vote at the polling place.
• Requester’s relationship to the voter
Early Voting
• Requester’s name and address
Early voting begins 15 days prior to any federal, state
• Requester’s driver’s license number (if available) or county election, and ends the Saturday prior to the
• Requester’s signature (if a written request) election; municipalities may or may not provide early
voting for their election.
Picking up Someone Else’s Ballot
You can vote at any Early Voting site (sites and times
By signed letter, a voter may designate another person
are announced well before each election and are on our
to pick up his/her mail ballot no sooner than the 5th day
website at www.VoteHillsborough.org).
prior to an election. The designee must provide a
picture ID and complete an affidavit.
Voting procedures are the same as on Election Day.

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What to expect at the polls

Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day 7. If you are satisfied with your selections:
• You are required to vote in the precinct where you a. Take your ballot to the optical scanner in the
live. Your voter information card shows your secrecy folder provided.
precinct number, or you can use the Precinct Finder b. Insert your ballot into the optical scan feeder.
feature online at www.VoteHillsborough.org
• Be sure to bring a photo and signature ID to the polls
(see page 5 for a list of acceptable forms of ID).
• Make sure your voter registration information is
updated to avoid delays at the polls (see page 5 for
information about updating your voter record).

When you arrive at the polls:

1. Show your valid and current photo and signature ID.
2. Sign the precinct register, or an electronic c. If your ballot is accepted, the scanner will
signature pad. record your votes and place your ballot into the
locked ballot box.
3. Receive your paper ballot and proceed to a
privacy booth. d. The scanner will alert you if your ballot appears
blank or contains one or more overvotes. You
4. Using the black pen provided, will then be given the option to either accept the
completely fill in the oval ballot as is, or return it to you for corrections.
next to each of your selections. Correct The scanner will not alert voters to undervotes.
5. Review your ballot. e. If you have any questions, ask a poll worker
6. If you wish to make changes, request another ballot. before you insert the ballot in the scanner. Once
a ballot has been accepted, it cannot be retrieved.

Error message screen

8. If you need assistance at any time during the voting

process, ask a poll worker for assistance. They are
trained to guide you through the process and answer
your questions.

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FreqUently asked qUestions

What voting equipment does Hillsborough County use?

Voters are using the Premier Election Solutions optical
scan voting equipment (OSX) for Early Voting and
Election Day voting. The Premier Central Count Scanner
(PCS) is used to process Vote By Mail ballots. The
AutoMark Voter Assist Terminal ballot-marking device
is available for voters with special needs or disabilities.
What happens if I make a mistake on my ballot?
Return the ballot to a poll worker and ask for another one.
You can have up to three ballots (including the original).
You will be asked to place the ballot in a “spoiled ballot”
envelope, seal the envelope, and hand it to a poll worker.
(The envelope will never be opened unless required by a court.)
What happens if I make a mistake on the third ballot
I am allowed?
Voters with Disabilities State law does not allow you to be given a fourth ballot.
Your first two spoiled ballots will be in sealed envelopes,
An ADA accessible ballot-marking machine, the so you will need to use your third ballot.
AutoMark, is available at each Early Voting and
Election Day polling place. The AutoMark allows Does it matter how I insert my ballot into the scanner?
voters with disabilities the option of an audio function No. You can place either end of the ballot into the
with headset, a Braille keypad, a zoom-in large-print scanner, with either side up.
feature, a sip-and-puff device, and a two-switch How do I know that my vote is being counted?
paddle device. The scanner screen message indicates that your votes are
being recorded and your ballot was accepted.
What happens if I do not vote in ANY races?
The scanner will alert you if it does not detect any votes on
the ballot. A poll worker will assist you in this instance.
What happens if I do not vote in one or more races?
The optical scanner will accept your ballot and count all
the races you have voted.
If I receive a Vote By Mail ballot and decide to
vote at the polling place, can I do this?
Yes. The simplest way to do this is to bring your Vote By
Mail ballot to your polling place and ask a poll worker to
cancel the ballot so you can vote at the polling place.

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FreqUently asked qUestions Voter rights and responsiBilities

What happens if I vote for too many candidates? Each registered voter in Florida has the right to:
The optical scanner will alert you if you select too many • Vote and have his or her vote accurately counted.
candidates in a race. This is called an overvote. A poll
• Cast a vote if he or she is in line at the official
worker can assist you in this instance.
closing of the polls.
How can I correct a ballot with one or more overvotes?
• Ask for and receive assistance in voting.
An overvoted ballot cannot be corrected. A poll worker
will give you a “spoiled ballot” envelope for your first • Receive up to two replacement ballots if he or she
ballot and then give you a new ballot. makes a mistake prior to the ballot being cast.
Can I write in a candidate? • An explanation if his or her registration or identity
Only races in which there is a qualified write-in is in question.
candidate will provide a space to write in a candidate’s • If his or her registration or identity is in question,
name and fill in the oval, and only votes for qualified cast a provisional ballot.
write-in candidates will be counted. • Written instructions to use when voting and, upon
Can I change my ballot once it has been read and request, oral instructions in voting from elections officers.
accepted by the optical scanner? • Vote free from coercion or intimidation by elections
No. Once a ballot has been accepted, it cannot be retrieved. officers or any other person.
Is there a paper trail? • Vote on a voting system that is in working condition
Yes. Your paper ballot secured in the ballot box is the and that will allow votes to be accurately cast.
official record of your votes and is available for recounts
or audits. Each registered voter in Florida should:
How long are paper ballots kept? • Familiarize himself or herself with the candidates
Any ballots with federal races or issues must be and issues.
retained for 22 months. All other ballots must be kept • Maintain with the office of the Supervisor of
for 12 months. Elections a current address.
In the event of scanner failure, what happens to • Know the location of his or her polling place and its
my ballot? hours of operation.
The voter has the option to wait until a replacement
scanner arrives or place the ballot in the auxiliary • Bring proper identification to the polling station.
portion of the ballot box. Ballots in the auxiliary box • Familiarize himself or herself with the operation of
will be processed through the scanner after the the voting equipment in his or her precinct.
polls close. • Treat precinct workers with courtesy.
In the event of a power outage, what happens to • Respect the privacy of other voters.
my ballot?
• Report any problems or violations of election laws to
The internal backup battery allows the scanner to
the Supervisor of Elections.
continue operating.
• Ask questions, if needed.
• Make sure that his or her completed ballot is correct
before leaving the polling station.

Failure to perform any of these responsibilities does not

prohibit a voter from voting.
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2010-2012 election dates

2010 Elections Last Day to Early Election Day

Register Voting
Primary July 26, August 9, August 24,
Election 2010 2010 – 2010
August 21,
General October 4, October 18, November 2,
Election 2010 2010 – 2010
October 30,
Temple Terrace November 1, ** November 30,
Run-off Election* 2010 2010
2011 Elections Last Day to Early Election Day Visit www.VoteHillsborough.org
Register Voting
for information on:
Tampa Municipal January 31, February 14, March 1, 2011
Election 2011 2011 – Current elections
February 26, Polling place lists
Sample ballots
Tampa Run-off February 21, March 14, March 22, 2011 Becoming a poll worker
Election* 2011 2011 –
March 19, Elected officials
2011 Voter statistics
Plant City March 7, ** April 5, 2011 Adopt A Precinct
Election* 2011
Plant City April 4, ** May 3, 2011
Run-off Election* 2011
Supervisor of Elections Offices
2012 Elections Last Day to Early Election Day
Register Voting Fred B. Karl County Center
601 E. Kennedy Blvd., 16th Floor
Presidential January 2, January 16, January 31,
Preference 2012 2012 – 2012 Tampa, Florida 33602
Primary Election January 28, Phone: (813) 272-5850
Fax: (813) 272-7043
Plant City March 5, ** April 3, 2012
Election* 2012 Robert L. Gilder Elections Service Center
Plant City April 2, ** May 1, 2012 2514 N. Falkenburg Rd.
Run-off Election* 2012 Tampa, Florida 33619
Primary Election July 30, August 13, August 28, Phone: (813) 744-5900
2012 2012 – 2012
August 25, Fax: (813) 744-5843

General Election October 8, October 22, November 6,

2012 2012 – 2012
November 3,
Temple Terrace November 5, ** December 4,
Run-off Election* 2012 2012 Please note: Florida has a very broad public records law. Written communications to or from
the Supervisor of Elections regarding business constitute public records and are available to the
* if necessary public and media upon request unless the information is subject to a specific statutory exemption.
** Early Voting Dates not established as of this printing Therefore, your e-mail address and message may be subject to public disclosure.

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