Election Day is Tuesday, and if long early-voting lines are any indication,
voters should be armed with patience.
The ballot is long -- 12 pages in some cities -- and complicated. And a presidential election always leads to high turnout.
Despite requests from Democrats and Democratic-leaning groups, particularly in South Florida, Republican Gov. Rick Scott told the Associated Press late Thursday that he will not extend early voting, which ends at 7 p.m. Saturday. The U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday that it will monitor Miami-Dade early voting to ensure the county is complying with a federal law protecting minorities' voting rights.
To make things a little easier, The Miami Herald compiled a list of answers to frequently asked questions about voting. The answers come from the Miami-Dade and Broward elections supervisor's offices.
The best advice for voters: Do your homework. Research the races and questions on the lengthy ballot. Find your polling place. If you're voting early, check the wait times online before you go.
And maybe bring a book.
- How long is the ballot?
For most Miami-Dade voters, the ballot is 10 pages long (five pages printed front-and-back). The ballot is 12 pages long in Cutler Bay, Palmetto Bay and North Bay Village. View a general sample ballot online here, or view a personalized sample ballot online here.
For most Broward voters, the ballot is eight pages long (four pages front-and-back). The ballot is 10 pages long in Pembroke Pines. View a general sample ballot here (scroll down to "Sample Ballot").
In both counties, the ballot is printed in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole.
- I have no party affiliation. Who can I vote for on the ballot?
Unlike in a primary election, any voter can vote for any candidate on their ballot, regardless of party affiliation.
Why do Republicans appear on the ballot before Democrats?
Under state law, the party of the governor dictates the ballot order for partisan races. Gov. Rick Scott is a Republican.
- Why aren't there races for all of my districts on the ballot?
There are several possible reasons. Not all seats are up for reelection this year. A candidate may have drawn no opposition, and so he or she was automatically reelected. A candidate may have won in the primary.
- What does "write-in" mean?
A write-in candidate who qualified to run for office but did not pay a qualifying fee or collect petition signatures to have his or her name appear on the ballot. The candidate's name must be written on the ballot by voters.
- What does "at-large" mean?
A seat that serves the entire county. The Broward School Board, for example, has two at-large seats elected by voters countywide and not in specific districts.
- Why is there no Amendment 7 on my ballot?
The Florida Supreme Court removed the proposed amendment, ruling the language was ambiguous. State lawmakers rewrote it and placed it on the ballot as Amendment 8. There are 11 amendments total.
- By what percentage do ballot questions have to be approved in order to pass?
Amendments to the Florida Constitution must be approved by 60
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