Friday, October 3, 2014

Pinellas County Voting -- Follow These Steps

Pinellas County Voting -- Follow These Steps, Click on the Links Below for More Information

Remember That Every Vote Is Important:


 PSST:  We do recommend voting by mail.  

First:  Check your voter registration status

     Check your Pinellas County voter registration status by clicking here.  You should make sure all your information is correct, update any changed information, and see a sample ballot.  If you need directions or advice, call the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections (727-464-8683).

    If you are not registered, the registration deadline was October 6th and is now passed.

    If you or anyone you know wonders whether a felony criminal conviction means he or she cannot vote, investigate your voting status by following the instructions here.  If the last conviction was before March of 2011, search here to see if civil rights were restored automatically (if the last conviction was later, the person had to make application and probably knows the result but it is a good idea to search anyway).

Second:  Check vote by mail status

     If you were already signed up, you should have received your mail ballot already.  If you didn't get it, follow the steps in the next paragraph.

    Through 5 p.m. on Oct. 29th, you may request a mail ballot by clicking here and following the directions.  Alternatively you can call (727) 464-VOTE (8683), or email (if you email, include your date of birth in your email).

Third:  Use your mail ballot -- or plan to vote on an Early Voting Day or on Election Day

     When you choose to vote by mail ballot, vote.  It is best to send in your ballot early, and note that election mail and robocalls to your house usually stop coming about a week after you mail your mail ballot to the Supervisor of Elections. Mail ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Nov. 4th.

     If you use the mail ballot, the ballot directions will spell out how to sign, seal and mail your ballot.  Study the instructions and follow them precisely.

    Alternatively, you can do "early voting" on October 20th through November 2nd, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.  The dates, times and locations for early voting are here.

    If you wait until Election Day (Nov. 4th), you must go to your precinct; check for the location and hours of your voting precinct here.  

     For both early voting and voting on Election Day, a voter should bring a photo ID with your signature, or two IDs (one with a photo and one with a signature) to the poll with you; a driver's license will satisfy the requirement for a photo ID with signature.  If you don't bring the right ID and are a registered voter, you are entitled to cast a provisional ballot; see the ID rules at the bottom of the linked page.  If you vote by mail, the ID rules do not apply.

Fourth:  Vote for these great Democrats and for these heavily endorsed Non-Partisan candidates

Click on each candidate's name for further information.

 *Congressional Districts 12 and 13 have no Democratic congressional candidate, and several local partisan races also lack a Democratic candidate.  For those races, if there is a "write in line" for a candidate, if you wish to do so, write in "None of the Above" -- many Democrats feel disenfranchised and will indicate their feelings in that manner.

Note that mail ballots for Congressional District 13 erroneously list Ed Jany as a candidate, although he withdrew and is not a candidate.  Do NOT vote for Ed Jany -- as the ballot insert instructs, any vote for Ed Jany will not count (and it might invalidate any other vote you cast for the District 13 Congressional race).

Fifth:  Vote on Judicial Retention candidates

     Florida has a system of "judicial retention elections" for appellate court judges who have served a full term of office -- voters are asked if the judge should continue to serve for another term of office.  Pinellas County is covered by the 2nd District, with three sitting judges subject to a retention vote.  Their professional qualifications are described by the Florida Bar Association here (starting at page 3), and the official judicial website's description of each judge's bio and resume can be seen by clicking on each name below:

The Tampa Bay Times recommends retention of all three judges, based on a survey of official records and attorney opinion.

Sixth:  Vote on the Ballot Issues

There are four ballot issues:

Generally, Democratic organizations have urged voters vote "yes" for Greenlight Pinellas, "yes" for the Water and Land Conservation Initiative, and "yes" for Medical Use for Marijuana -- and also that voters vote "no" on the Court Packing State Amendment 3.  The League of Women Voters encourages a "yes" vote on Amendment 1, takes no position on Amendment 2, and supports a "no" vote on Amendment 3.

Seventh:  Followed these Steps?  Mailed in your ballot or voted in person on an Early Voting day or on Election Day? Congratulations!