Elections and Voting

Gun Vote 2022

Elections and voting matter. It is election time again. In Florida, Governor DeSantis has promised he will sign “constitutional carry” into law if we elect a legislature that will send him a bill. Federally, H.R. 1808 the Assault Weapons Ban is sitting in the Senate and will pass if Democrats win even a few more seats. President Biden has said he will sign it if it reaches his desk. This election will have a critical impact on Floridians gun rights. Now more than ever it is imperative that you get out and vote. Below, is some important information you need to ensure you can lawfully cast your ballot.

Carrying at a Polling Place

It is likely you already know that you are not authorized to carry at a polling place in Florida, even with a Concealed Weapon or Firearm License (“CWFL”). Florida statute 790.06 lists the places that a CWFL holder is not authorized to carry a firearm.  Specifically, in relevant part, Florida Statute 790.06(12)(a) states, “A license issued under this section does not authorize any person to openly carry a handgun or carry a concealed weapon or firearm into: (6) any polling place.” Therefore, if you go to vote in person, leave your firearm at home or locked securely in your car. 

Mail-in ballot

With long lines, potential protests, and Covid-19 concerns still lingering, you may be interested in voting via mail-in ballot. Please note that the procedure to request a vote-by-mail ballot has changed and may be made in one of the following ways:

  • In writing (e.g., by email, fax, or mail) to Supervisor of Elections;
  • In person at Supervisor of Elections;
  • By telephone call to Supervisor of Elections.

To make a request, the following information is required:

  • The name of the voter for whom the ballot is being requested;
  • The voter’s address;
  • The voter’s Florida driver license, Florida ID card, or last four of the social security number, which must be verifiable in the supervisor of elections records.
  • The voter’s date of birth; and
  • The voter’s signature (if the request is written).

There are additional rules that can be found on the Florida Department of State website at (https://dos.myflorida.com/elections/for-voters/voting/vote-by-mail/ ).   The deadline to request that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed is no later than 5 PM on the 10th day before the election. However, the ballot must still be received by the Supervisor of Elections no later than 7 PM on Election Day if the ballot is to count.

Encountering Protestors

 If you decide to vote in person and encounter a protest, I urge you to keep a level head and attempt to avoid escalating the situation. Remember that if you engage protesters and wind up in an altercation, you may wind up being arrested prior to casting your vote. This may be the goal of some protestors who are looking to keep those with opposing views from voting. Voting is a critical civil right and responsibility that we enjoy, and I encourage everyone to vote. After all, every vote counts.

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