CIVIC Education 101
From the basics of civic participation, like registering to vote, to complex and seemingly remote issues like redistricting, visit this page to learn about the structure of state government and how to make your participation count.
Registering to Vote
To register to vote, click on the form below to download it and fill in the information. Remember, you must include either your Florida driver's license or the last four digits of your social security number. October 9 is the last day to register to vote in the 2010 general election.
You can hand deliver the form to a driver's license office or hand deliver or mail it to your county Supervisor of Elections, or mail it to the state Division of Elections at:
Division of Elections
Bureau of Voter Registration Services
Room 316, R.A. Gray Building
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee , Florida 32399-0250
Voting by Mail
To ensure that your vote is cast and counted in every election, even if something unexpected happens on Election Day and you can't get to the polls, you can vote by mail.
While in the past, voters were required to state they were out of town or otherwise unable to vote in person in order to get an absentee ballot, now anyone can sign up to vote by mail.
Your ballot will be mailed to you before the election, usually within a few days of your request, and you must return it no later than 7 pm on Election Day (the postmark date doesn't matter). If you decide not to vote by mail or if you forget to mail your ballot in time, you must bring it with you to your polling place in order to vote in person on Election Day.
Now there's an easy online tool to request a ballot by mail in any Florida county. Just enter your info and presto...your ballot will arrive at your home a few days later. (Your privacy is guaranteed...it's submitted by secure electronic transmission directly to the proper supervisor of elections.) Click here to request your ballot by mail.
Citizens have the opportunity to vote early during a two-week period before election day. Each county's Supervisor of Elections sets the locations and hours, but they must be open for at least 8 hours every weekday and 8 hours over the course of the weekend. If you vote early, you can vote at a time convenient to you to ensure that your vote is counted even if you can't make it to the polls on Election Day.
Early voting for the 2010 general election will take place from October 18 to October 30. Click here to find your county and determine when and where you can vote early.
Voter Rights and Voter Protection
When you go to the polls, voting should be a simple process. If you feel you have been unfairly denied a ballot or improperly forced to vote a provisional ballot, or if there is unnecessary police presence or other intimidation, you should seek help immediately to ensure that your vote counts. In general elections, many groups and both political parties offer voter hotlines. A good resource is the Division of Elections Voter Fraud Hotline: 1-877-868-3737.
Resources and Links
In this section, we'll highlight other organizations, books, and websites that promote civic participation and help citizens effectively impact their government.
Learn about two new tools promoting effective civic participation: Senator Graham's book America, The Owners Manual and the Justice by the People program. More
This organization, founded by then-Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Lewis, trains legal professionals and then pairs them with Florida public schools to help educate students about our government and legal system. To find out how you can get involved, click here to visit the website.