Ways to Vote

Once you are registered to vote in an election, there are three ways to cast your ballot:
Option One: (Preferred method for most voters)
Vote by Mail using an Absentee Ballot

Vote from the comfort of your home – when and where it’s best for you!

  • No need to take time away from work, school or family
  • No need to travel (with gas being as expensive as it is)
  • No need to interact with machines – there’s nothing to learn to operate
  • Take your time to carefully select the candidates you want to elect right down to the last name and office
  • If there is any problem with your voter registration, your address, or your ID, you will have the time to correct it and still vote.
  • Avoid any long lines (and parking lot confusion) at the polls on Election Day.
  • If something disrupts your schedule on Election Day, you know your vote has been counted
  • Stop campaign phone calls – Submit your ballot early and public data will indicate you have already voted

An absentee ballot may be requested from the Supervisor of Elections (SOE)

Be sure to allow adequate time per the guidelines as the ballot request form must be returned no later than 5:00 PM six days prior to an election (the Wednesday before the election).

Once you receive your absentee ballot, follow the instructions carefully and return the ballot as soon as possible.

  • If you mail your ballot, be sure to affix the proper postage and allow enough time for the ballot to be received at the SOE office before 7pm on election day.
  • You can also drop off your absentee ballot at any of the three Sarasota County SOE offices before 7pm on election day (You cannot drop off your absentee ballot at a polling place).

Your vote will be accurately counted on Election Day, just the same as any other vote cast that day.

You must renew your request to receive an absentee ballot every two years. You can check the status of receiving your Vote By Mail ballot by visiting https://www.sarasotavotes.gov/Voter-Information/My-Voter-Status 

Option Two:

Early Voting at the Supervisor of Elections offices

Due to the change in election law, early voting is now available 10 days prior to an election that contains state or federal races and ends three days before the election. Note that the number of early voting locations has also been reduced. You will need a picture I.D. with signature.

Early voting at the SOE offices is not available on election day. Check with the Supervisor of Elections office or visit www.sarasotavotes.com for early voting hours and locations.

Option Three:

Go to your precinct polling place on election day

The polls are open on Election Day from 7am to 7pm. You must vote in your precinct polling place, which is listed on your Voter Information Card or can be obtained here.

You will need one of the following picture IDs with signature:

  • Florida driver license
  • Florida ID card (issued by the
  • Dept of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles)
  • U.S. passport
  • Debit/credit card (with picture & signature)
  • Military ID or Student ID
  • Retirement center ID
  • Neighborhood Association ID
  • Public Assistance ID

If your picture identification does not contain a signature, you will be asked to provide an additional identification with your signature.

If you do not present a picture I.D. with signature, you may vote with a provisional ballot*.

If you are not familiar with the voting process, an inspector will explain the procedure to you and answer your questions. The voting process is also posted on a sign located in the voting booth.

* If you vote with a provisional ballot, you have until 5 p.m. on the second day following the election to present additional evidence such as your I.D. and photo at the Supervisor of Elections office.