Election Myths vs Facts
- MYTH: Voters will be turned away if they are wearing campaign apparel.
FACT: “Voters may wear campaign buttons, shirts, hats, or any other campaign items when they enter the polling place to vote; voters may not otherwise campaign there.” (From the Polling Place Procedures Manual incorporated within Rule 1S-2.034, Florida Administrative Code)
So, merely going to the polls wearing campaign paraphernalia is OK, but, by statute (s. 102.031(4), Florida Statutes), one cannot solicit voters within 100 feet of the entrance to any polling place.
- MYTH: The address on the driver license must match the address in the voter registration record in order to be able to vote.
FACT: The address on the driver license does not need to match the address in the voter registration record. If you have moved and haven’t changed your driver license to reflect your new address, that’s okay. What is important is that you vote in the precinct where you currently live, no matter what your driver license says.
- MYTH: If your house is under foreclosure, you will not be able to vote.
FACT: A foreclosure notice does not necessarily mean that a person no longer resides in the home, as people often remain in the home after foreclosure begins and are sometimes able to refinance the home. Voters whose homes have been foreclosed but who remain in their homes may continue to vote in their assigned precinct. Voters who have physically moved from their foreclosed residence with no intention of returning to that address as their residence may still vote, but should provide a change of address to the supervisor of elections. You must vote in your correct precinct.
MYTH: If you are florida college student, you have to change your permanent residence to your college address.
FACT: If a college student registers with a legal residence in a Florida county, then no further proof of residency is required, regardless of where the college student’s parents reside or whether the student intends to move back to where the parents are located.
- MYTH: Provisional ballots are only counted when there is a close race.
FACT: A provisional ballot is always counted when the voter is shown to be registered and eligible, regardless of the closeness of the outcome of the election. A person who votes provisionally simply because he or she forgot ID at the polls will not have to do anything else. If the signatures on that ballot certificate and the voter roll matches, the provisional ballot is counted.
- MYTH: Absentee ballots are only counted when there is a close race.
FACT: All absentee ballots are counted if properly executed, which includes making sure that the return envelope is signed and that the signature matches the voter’s signature on record.
- MYTH: If a voter owes child support or has pending warrants against him or her, the police will arrest the voter at the polls.
FACT: The voter registration rolls at the polls have no indicators whether a voter owes child support or has outstanding warrants against him or her. Furthermore, law enforcement personnel are not allowed in the polling place without the permission of the election board, so ordinarily there will not be any law enforcement personnel in the polling place to identify a voter who may have outstanding child support payments due or warrants against him or her.
- MYTH: If the voter is homeless and has no legal residence, the voter may not vote.
FACT: State registration laws may not discriminate against the homeless in voter registration as long as the homeless applicant for voter registration intends to remain in a locale and has either a place where he can receive messages or an effective mailing address. The homeless person will vote in the precinct where the applicant receives messages (e.g., rescue mission) or the precinct in which the applicant‘s effective mailing address is located.