SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - It’s your voice, your vote, and we’re helping to make sure it counts by giving you all the guidelines and voting deadlines here on the Suncoast. There are important dates you need to know about for this year’s election which is now less than a month away. The last day to register to vote is this Monday, October 5th.
If you haven’t registered already, here are the multiple options you have before that deadline:
Election officials in Sarasota and Manatee counties say even if you don’t feel comfortable going to vote in person this year, there are other alternatives – like voting by mail.
“The earlier the mail service can get the ballot to the voter, the longer the voter has to look at the candidates, the issues, the questions on the ballots, those sorts of things, but I would encourage people not to procrastinate if they’re going to vote by mail. Request early, return early,” explained Ron Turner, Sarasota County’s Supervisor Of Elections.
Plus, you can request a mail-in ballot and change your mind later. All precincts will have safety measures put in place for those who choose to vote in person.
“Even if you decide you’re not going to do it, take it with you to the precinct when you go. You can turn it in and get a new ballot, and vote that way, but get that insurance policy,” Mike Bennet, Manatee County’s Supervisor Of Elections, tells us.
In Sarasota County, you can even drop off your ballot without leaving your car.
“I call it the ultimate social distancing experience. You can just drive through, roll down the window, drop off the ballot and keep going down the road. We’re trying to give plenty of options for voters,” said Turner.
The last day to request a vote by mail ballot is Saturday, October 24th, and the deadline to get your mail ballot to the county elections office is 7 p.m. on Election Day, November 3rd. Plus, if you’re planning on voting early, in both Sarasota and Manatee counties, you can do so from October 19th to November 1st.