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Monday, November 28, 2022
<p>Voters are seen dropping off their mail ballots at the Supervisor of Elections Office in Gainesville, Fla., on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.</p>

Voters are seen dropping off their mail ballots at the Supervisor of Elections Office in Gainesville, Fla., on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.

Voting: it’s free, and it’s pretty easy.

Going to the polls is the foundation of our democracy and a right people in other countries sometimes don't get, Teresa Cornacchione, the civic engagement coordinator for the Bob Graham Center for Public Service, said.

Voting is not a test of how knowledgeable one is about politics, Cornacchione said.

“It's simply a way for you to express your dissatisfaction or your satisfaction with what's going on in our country and in our community,” she said.

Once students move to Gainesville, they must choose whether they want to change their registration information to vote in local elections or remain registered in their hometowns.

Voter Registration

Interested voters must be American citizens who are at least 18 years old to register or 16 years old to preregister in the area they plan to vote. Eligible voters need a driver’s license or state-issued ID card and the last four digits of their Social Security number to register online through TurboVote or in-person at the Bob Graham Center, a registered third-party voting organization at UF.

Online Registration
Regardless of a student’s in- or out-of-state status, all students can register to vote or update voter registration information through the free TurboVote registration app.
Once students enter housing information, they will be linked to the appropriate Supervisor of Elections Office to register to vote. From there, students print, complete, and turn the registration form into the corresponding office.
Using TurboVote also enrolls voters in a reminder service that provides important voting dates, voting location information and election policies. It also helps the center track data on voters within the student body.
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In-Person Registration
Students can visit the Bob Graham Center, located on the second floor of Pugh Hall, to register to vote in person. Staff are equipped to assist students and are legally allowed to collect and turn registration forms into a student’s Supervisor of Elections Office.

Checking and Updating Registration Information

Voters can check their registration status online at vote.org or use TurboVote’s app to update information, including party affiliation and residency.

One of the biggest mistakes students make when voting is not knowing their address, Cornacchione said. Students living on campus should use their residence hall mailing address if they want to vote in Gainesville and Alachua County elections. Students who choose to vote in their local home elections would use their home address.

If a student is registered as a Florida voter, they can still update their voter information during the early voting period, which is Aug. 13-20 for primary elections and Oct. 29-Nov. 5 for general elections.

If a student is registered as a Florida voter, they can still update their voter information during the early voting period, which is Aug. 13-20 for primary elections and Oct. 29-Nov. 5 for general elections.

Because Florida is a closed primary state, to vote in primary elections, voters need to register as a Democrat, Republican or Independent by July 25.

Voting

Students can vote in one local election: either Gainesville’s or their hometown’s.

Early Voting
During the early voting period for primary and general elections, voters can vote at any county precinct location, including the J. Wayne Reitz Union, the Supervisor of Elections Office, Millhopper Branch Library, Tower Road Branch Library, Orange Heights Baptist Church, Legacy Park Multipurpose Center and Alachua County Agriculture and Equestrian Center.
Election Day Voting
Voters who choose to vote on primary and general election days, are required to vote at their designated precinct location. Students living on-campus use the Reitz Union.
Mail-in Voting
If a student chooses to vote in their hometown elections, they can request a mail-in ballot from their Supervisor of Elections Office. Because voting by mail differs for each county, students should research the requirements for the area in which they are planning to vote.

Events

The Bob Graham Center hosts events throughout the year to encourage and register students to vote. The center will host events to welcome and register students Aug. 31, Sept. 15 and during Homecoming Week Oct. 3-7.

Important Dates

July 25: Deadline to register to vote and change party affiliation for the 2022 Primary Election

Aug. 13: Early voting period opens and deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot for the Primary Election

Aug. 20: Final day to vote early in the Primary Election

Aug. 23: Primary Election

Sept. 20: National Voter Registration Day

Oct. 29: Early voting period opens and deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot for the General Election

Nov. 5: Final day to vote early in the General Election

Nov. 8: General Election

UF’s voter landscape is unique because the campus brings people from all over the place, Andrew Taramykin, a 20-year-old UF political science and economics junior who helps coordinate the Gator Get-Out-the-Vote Coalition, said. He recommended students create a personal voter plan: when, where and how they will vote.

“Voting in a jurisdiction that isn't necessarily familiar to them, with those additional barriers in place, students really do have to think ahead to make sure they can participate,” he said.

This article has been updated to reflect that Teresa Cornacchione, the civic engagement coordinator for the Bob Graham Center for Public Service, spoke with The Alligator, not Dorothy Zimmerman. The Alligator previously reported otherwise.

Contact Mickenzie Hannon at mhannon@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @MickenzieHannon.

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Mickenzie Hannon

Mickenzie is the local elections reporter and previously covered city and county commission for The Alligator’s Metro Desk. She's a fourth-year journalism major and is specializing in data journalism. When Mickenzie isn’t writing, she enjoys watching horror movies, reading, playing with her pets and attending concerts.


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