Virtual Voting Registration Drive
The deadline to register to vote in Florida is October 5! Register today!
Once you are registered, be an informed voter - get the facts about issues and candidates.
If you've never voted before, don't worry - it's easy! On election day, go to your polling place - it is listed on your voter ID card or you can look it up here. Be sure to bring a photo ID with you. And if you have any questions once you get there, ask a poll worker! They are there to help.
Your local elections office is also here to help. They can answer questions about acceptable types of ID and can provide a sample ballot so you are prepared on election day! Each county has its own elections office:
A list of candidates and proposed laws that voters mark to make choices. A ballot may be made of paper and marked with a pen or hole punch. Or it may be electronic and voters mark their choices with the push of a button or by touch screen.
A proposed law drafted by citizens and placed on the ballot. Citizens will vote to approve or reject it. Ballot initiatives are usually drafted by groups who are passionate about an issue.
A person who lives, works, or pays taxes in an area that a politician represents.
Someone chosen to represent their town or state at a national political convention. A pledged delegate must support the candidate chosen by the voters they represent. An unpledged delegate is not bound to support a specific candidate. A superdelegate is often a party official or veteran politician. Superdelegates are not required to be chosen or elected to the position. They can support any candidate they choose.
A geographical area that an elected official serves or represents.
A person appointed to:
A person who is certified to represent their state's vote in the Electoral College.
The process Americans use to elect the president and vice president. The number of electors a state receives is equal to that state's number of U.S. senators and representatives. Those electors then gather to cast the state's votes in the Electoral College. They vote for the candidate who won in their state during a presidential election.
A final election for a political office with a limited list of candidates. The candidates in the general election are the people who won their party's primary election. General elections happen at a local, state, and national level.
The process to remove a high-level government official such as a:
On the federal level, the House of Representatives investigates and brings impeachment charges. The Senate holds the impeachment trial. Some states and cities use impeachment to remove governors, mayors, or other elected officials. Other states allow officials to be removed through a recall election instead of impeachment. (see Recall Election).
A day of ceremony in which a newly-elected official takes office. This usually involves a swearing-in ceremony, speeches, and celebrations. Inaugurations are typically held for presidents and vice presidents, mayors, and governors.
The person currently in a particular job or political office.
The final candidate chosen by a party to represent them in an election.
A collection of beliefs, legislative goals, morals, and ideals. A political party's platform outlines its principles and plans to govern.
A group organized to raise money or support for a politician or cause.
A group whose intent is to govern and legislate in a specific way based on a chosen set of principles or platform.
The votes cast during an election for a candidate or about an issue. Whichever candidate or decision about an issue gets the most votes has won the popular vote. (U.S. president and vice president are determined by an Electoral College vote.)
Each city, county, or geographic area is divided by address into precincts to assign polling places and gather votes. A precinct can sometimes be called an election district or voting district.
An election held to choose which of a party's candidates will be nominated for the general election. In an open primary, all voters can vote for any candidate they prefer, regardless of the voter’s or candidate's party affiliation. In a closed primary, voters can only vote for a candidate from the party that the voter belongs to.
Type of ballot used to collect a vote when there are questions about the voter’s identity or ability to vote at that precinct. A provisional ballot is counted when the voter’s information is confirmed.
An election for voters to choose whether to remove an elected official from office before the end of the official's term. A recall election can generally take place if enough voters sign a petition asking for one. Rules on the number of voters needed and the officials who can be recalled are different from state to state. Federal officials cannot be recalled, only impeached (see Impeachment.) These officials include:
Counting the votes again because of a suspected error in totaling them the first time.
A proposed new law or a proposal to repeal an existing law, passed to the voters to approve or reject. Some states require the following to be approved by a referendum before they can be adopted:
Someone who is qualified and has applied and been added to their area’s voter registration system.
An example of what the official ballot will look like. These can be used to help people make decisions, and are often published by newspapers or websites.
An election to fill a vacant position if an officeholder dies, resigns, or is impeached. It is not part of the regular election schedule.
The day when the most states and territories hold presidential primary elections or caucuses. The candidates who win on Super Tuesday are more likely to win their party’s nomination.
The set length of time for someone to serve in an elected office. The president and vice president of the United States serve a four-year term. U.S. representatives serve two years and U.S. senators serve six years.
The total amount of terms that an officeholder is allowed to serve in a particular position. Laws set term limits for elected offices. No one can serve more than two terms as president of the United States. There are no laws about term limits for U.S. representatives or senators. Term limits for governors and other elected officials are different in each state and locality.
The group of candidates that a party is running in an election.
A setting in which candidates for office answer questions from voters. In a town hall-style debate, a moderator helps ensure candidates follow the rules they agreed to.
Interfering with the results of an election by doing illegal things that affect the vote's outcome. Types of voter fraud include:
An attempt to prevent eligible people from voting or forcing them to vote a certain way. The attempt may be made by an official, individual, or group. Some voter intimidation tactics include:
Information about candidates and issues in an upcoming election. Guides can be published by political parties, organizations, or other groups. They may be non-partisan or may favor a particular party or viewpoint.