AFS Blog

Vote!

Vote!

Everywhere we look these days, we are reminded of Election Day, November 3. Early voting has started, mail-in ballots are being returned, and polling sites are getting ready for what I anticipate will be an exciting day.

This will be the third election where I have worked at a polling site. Before, I didn't give much thought to the amount of work that goes into the preparation by the Supervisor of Election staff or the amount of training and the dedication of the volunteers, many who are older adults. Thank you to everyone who is working hard to ensure we can vote safely.

The ballot in Sarasota is quite lengthy this election, so I would take the time to review the sample ballot that was sent in the mail so you are ready when you arrive at the polls.

I recently had the opportunity to ask Ron Turner, Supervisor of Elections for Sarasota County, a few important questions.

Q. Can you explain the difference between Absentee Ballots and Vote-by-Mail?
In Florida, vote by mail began in 2002 as no-excuse absentee voting, and in 2016, the name was changed by the state legislature to Vote-by-Mail. Otherwise, the vote-by-mail (absentee) process has been largely the same for the past 18 years.

Q. How do I find out if my polling location has moved?
Visit SarasotaVotes.com and select the "Precinct Finder" button on the homepage. Once there, a voter may look up his or her election day polling location. Also, affected voters will be notified by mail if their polling place has been temporarily moved.

Q. What precautions are being taken at polling locations for COVID-19?
Poll workers and elections staff will wear face coverings, routinely sanitize pens, styluses, voting booths and surfaces, and practice social distancing. Voters are also encouraged to wear face coverings and practice social distancing while at early voting sites or on election day.

Q. When does early voting start?
Early voting begins Monday, October 19, and continues through Sunday, November 1, from 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. daily. Voters may choose any one of eight countywide locations.

Click here to access early voting information.

Information from the Supervisor of Elections website regarding Vote-by-Mail Ballots:
Return Your Ballot by Mail (Two Forever Stamps or $.70 postage)
If returning by mail, the US Postal Service suggests returning your Vote-by-Mail ballot no later than Tuesday, October 27 (one week before Election Day). The return postage is two Forever Stamps $.70.

Return Your Ballot in Person (Drop Off Locations):
Elections Office Drop Boxes
(M-F, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Election Day)
You may return your ballot in person now to a secure drop box located inside all Supervisor of Elections offices during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.) and from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Election Day (November 3).
Supervisor of Elections Drop Box Locations:

  • Terrace Building, 2001 Adams Lane, Sarasota, 34237
  • RL Anderson Building, 4000 Tamiami Trail S., Venice 34293
  • Biscayne Plaza, 13640 Tamiami Trail, North Port 34287

Early Voting Location Drop Boxes:
(Oct. 19 – Nov. 1; 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. daily)
Vote-by-Mail drop boxes will also be available inside all early voting sites during early voting.
(Monday, October 19 – Sunday, November 1; 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. daily).
Early Voting Drop Box Locations:

  • Terrace Building, 2001 Adams Lane, Sarasota, 34237
  • RL Anderson Building, 4000 Tamiami Trail S., Venice 34293
  • Biscayne Plaza, 13640 Tamiami Trail, North Port 34287
  • Sarasota Square Mall, 8201 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota 34238
  • North Sarasota Library, 2801 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota 34234
  • Fruitville Library, 100 Apex Rd., Sarasota 34240
  • Shannon Staub Library, 4675 Career Lane, North Port 34289
  • Bee Ridge Park, 4430 S Lockwood Ridge Rd, Sarasota, 34231

Drive-Thru & Drop Off Ballot Locations:
(October 19 – November 3, Election Day; 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. daily)
Vote-by-Mail drive-thru drop-off is available from Monday, October 19 - Tuesday, November 3, from 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 pm daily at all three Supervisor of Elections offices listed below.
Supervisor of Elections Drive-Thru Locations:

  • Terrace Building, 2001 Adams Lane, Sarasota, 34237
  • RL Anderson Building, 4000 Tamiami Trail S., Venice 34293
  • Biscayne Plaza, 13640 Tamiami Trail, North Port 34287

 

 


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County officials continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 and follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health.

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