What To Know Before You Vote Next Tuesday

A checklist from the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections.

By Staff October 28, 2020

Make sure you're prepared before you vote on Nov. 3.

With less than a week until the 2020 general election on Nov. 3, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner is offering tips for  t voters who plan to head to the polls on Election Day.

Know what's on your ballot.

You can download a personalized sample ballot at sarasotavotes.com; sample ballots have also been been mailed to every voter who has not requested a vote-by-mail ballot. Voters are encouraged to mark their choices on the sample ballot and take it into the voting booth to use as a reference guide.

Consider voting early

Wait times at early voting locations are down and are updated in real time at sarasotavotes.com. Eight sites, including three elections offices in North Port (Biscayne Plaza), Venice (R.L. Anderson Administration Building) and Sarasota (Terrace Building), Sarasota Square Mall, North Sarasota Library, Fruitville Library, Shannon Staub Library, and Bee Ridge Park, are open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; early voters may cast a ballot at any of these sites. Remember to bring a photo and signature ID. The last day to vote early is Sunday, Nov. 1.

The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot was Oct. 24. 

However, voters can pick up a ballot in person at any of the three elections offices in Sarasota, Venice or North Port now through Election Day, November 3. You will be asked to provide photo and signature ID.

Completed vote-by-mail ballots must be received by the elections office no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.

Postmarks do not count. If you have not yet returned your ballot, we recommend returning it in person to a secure drop box inside any early voting location during the early voting period.  Ballots may also be returned to secure drop boxes outside all three elections offices now through Election Day from 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. daily.

On Election Day, you can only vote at your assigned polling place.

Polling place locations are identified on voter information cards and online at sarasotavotes.com. Due to Covid-19, some polling places have been temporarily relocated; click here to see if yours is one of them. You can also call the elections office at (941) 861-8619 for help. 

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day and you must have a valid photo and signature ID

Every voter must present current and valid photo and signature ID upon check-in at the polling place. A voter who does not produce ID will be offered a provisional ballot. A list of valid photo IDs can be found in the voter guide at sarasotavotes.com.  Important: If a photo ID does not include the voter’s signature, an additional ID that provides the signature will be required.

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