Floridians are gearing up to elect a new governor and select new local leaders this November. But first, the opening act: the primaries. The official date is Aug. 28, but voting by mail has already started, and early voting starts Aug. 13 in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, and Aug. 18 in Broward.
“We want people to vote the way that’s most convenient for them,” said Suzy Trutie, deputy supervisor of elections for Miami-Dade county.
Here’s a guide to early voting:
When can you start voting?
▪ In Miami-Dade, early voting will be from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 13-17; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 18 and 19; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 20-24 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 25-26.
▪ In Broward, early voting will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Aug. 18-26.
▪ Early voting in the Keys — Monroe County — runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 13-25.
What’s on the ballot?
That depends on where you live and whether you are affiliated with a party.
Registered Republicans and Democrats will narrow down the field of gubernatorial candidates looking to replace Rick Scott, who can’t run again because of term limits. The Democrats’ ballot has seven candidates, the Republicans have eight. The top vote-getter from each party will be on the November ballot. Other statewide races with primary elections are for U.S. Senate, state attorney general and commissioner of agriculture.
Voters will also see races for the state House and state Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, judgeships, certain county or city commission and school board seats, and municipal ballot questions. To get an individualized sample ballot:
▪ In Miami-Dade, registered voters can visit http://www.miamidade.gov/elections/voter-information.asp.
▪ In Broward, visit http://www.browardsoe.org/Voter-Information/Sample-Ballot.
▪ In the Keys, visit https://www.keys-elections.org/Election-Data/Past-Sample-Ballots.
What should I bring or not bring?
In order to vote, you will need to show a picture ID with signature. Election officials also stress preparation and urge people to bring their sample ballot. Also, voters in Florida need to fight the urge to take a ballot selfie, because it’s against the law and a person could face stiff penalties.
Where to vote?
During early voting only, you can show up at any early vote site as long as you are registered to vote in that county. Wait times will be posted on Miami-Dade and Broward Supervisor of Election pages.
The 20 locations in Miami-Dade are:
▪ Coral Gables Branch Library: 3443 Segovia St., Coral Gables, 33134
▪ Coral Reef Branch Library: 9211 SW 152nd St., Miami, 33157
▪ Elections Department (Main Office): 2700 NW 87th Ave., Doral, 33172
▪ Historic Garage: 3250 S. Miami Ave., Miami, 33129 (Same property as the old Museum of Science)
▪ Homestead Community Center (William F. “Bill” Dickinson Community Center): 1601 N. Krome Ave., Homestead, 33030
▪ John F. Kennedy Library: 190 W. 49th St., Hialeah, 33012
▪ Joseph Caleb Center (community meeting room): 5400 NW 22nd Ave., building A, Miami, 33142
▪ Kendall Branch Library: 9101 SW 97th Ave., Miami, 33176
▪ Lemon City Branch Library: 430 NE 61st St., Miami, 33137
▪ Miami Beach City Hall: 1700 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach, 33139
▪ Miami Lakes Community Center (Mary Collins Community Center): 15151 NW 82nd Ave., Miami Lakes, 33016
▪ North Dade Regional Library: 2455 NW 183rd St., Miami Gardens, 33056
▪ North Miami Public Library: 835 NE 132nd St., North Miami, 33161
▪ North Shore Branch Library: 7501 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 33141
▪ Northeast Dade-Aventura Branch Library: 2930 Aventura Blvd., Aventura, 33180
▪ South Dade Regional Library: 10750 SW 211th St., Cutler Bay, 33189
▪ Stephen P. Clark Government Center (Elections branch office): 111 NW First St. (lobby), Miami, 33128
▪ West Dade Regional Library: 9445 SW 24th St., Miami, 33165
▪ West Kendall Regional Library: 10201 Hammocks Blvd., Miami, 33196
▪ West Miami Community Center: 901 SW 62nd Ave., West Miami, 33144
The 21 locations in Broward are:
▪ African-American Research Library: 2650 Sistrunk Blvd. (Northwest Sixth Street), Fort Lauderdale, 33311
▪ Coral Ridge Mall (north or northwest entrance): 3200 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale,
▪ Davie/Cooper City Branch Library: 4600 SW 82nd Ave., Davie, 33328
▪ Emma Lou Olson Civic Center: 1801 NE Sixth St., Pompano Beach, 33060
▪ Fort Lauderdale Branch Library/Art Serve: 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., Room 130, Fort Lauderdale, 33304
▪ Hallandale Beach Cultural Community Center: 410 SE Third St., Hallandale Beach, 33009
▪ Hollywood Branch Library: 2600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, 33020
▪ Miramar Branch Library: 2050 Civic Center Place, Miramar, 33025
▪ North Regional Library/Broward College: 1100 Coconut Creek Blvd., Coconut Creek, 33066
▪ Northwest Regional Library: 3151 University Dr., Coral Springs, 33065
▪ Oveta McKeithen Recreational Complex: 445 SW Second St., Deerfield Beach, 33441
▪ Parkland Recreation and Enrichment Center: 10559 Trails End, Parkland, 33076
▪ Supervisor of Elections branch office at E. Pat Larkins Community Center: 520 Martin Luther King Blvd., Pompano Beach, 33060
▪ Supervisor of Elections branch office at Lauderhill Mall: 1519 NW 40th Ave., Lauderhill, 33313
▪ South Regional Library/Broward College: 7300 Pines Blvd., Pembroke Pines, 33024
▪ Southwest Regional Library: 16835 Sheridan St., Pembroke Pines, 33331
▪ Sunrise Senior Center: 10650 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise, 33351
▪ Tamarac Branch Library: 8701 W. Commercial Blvd., Tamarac, 33321
▪ West Regional Library: 8601 W. Broward Blvd., Plantation, 33324
▪ Weston Branch Library: 4205 Bonaventure Blvd., Weston, 33332
▪ Wilton Manors City Hall: 2020 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors, 33305
The five sites in the Florida Keys are:
▪ Supervisor of Elections Office: 530 Whitehead St. #101, Key West
▪ Supervisor of Elections Office: 10015 Overseas Hwy., Marathon
▪ Supervisor of Elections Office: 102050 Overseas Hwy. #137, Key Largo
▪ Big Pine Key Community Park: End of Sands Road, 31009 Atlantis Dr., Big Pine Key
▪ Islamorada Branch Library: 81830 Overseas Hwy., Mile Marker 81.7, Islamorada
If I don’t vote early, what can I do?
Voters can request mail-in ballots up until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 22. Voters can also show up at their assigned precincts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m on Election Day..