Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find a listing of the most frequently asked questions we receive here in the Supervisor of Elections Office. If you have a question that is not answered here, please feel free to e-mail us for the answer.  

 


1. Can anyone register to vote?      back to top

If you are a legal resident of Florida with a valid residence address in Okaloosa County and fulfill all the following conditions, you are eligible to register to vote in Okaloosa County.  You must:

    • Be a citizen of the United States, and
    • Be 18 years of age (you may pre-register once you turn 17, or obtain a driver's license anytime after the age of 16 and we then automatically send you your voter information card on your 18th birthday), and
    • Not have been convicted of a felony without having your civil rights restored, and
    • Not have been adjudicated mentally incapacitated with respect to voting without having your civil rights restored, and
    • Disclose any prior registration in another state in order for it to be canceled. (Voters will be registered in the State of Florida, rather than the county, and any move between Florida counties will simply be considered an address change.)

 

2. Where can I go to register to vote?      back to top

There are many locations throughout the county and other opportunities to obtain a Florida Voter Registration Application, the only acceptable form, the most "informative" place is the Supervisor of Elections Office located in the Brackin Building in Crestview or the Okaloosa County Administration Building in Shalimar. Regardless of where applications are picked up or turned in, a registration application is not valid until processed as complete by the Supervisor of Elections office.


Every application received is acknowledged in writing with a Voter Information Card or a letter requesting more information.  Voter Information Cards may not be used for identification.

Places to obtain a Florida Voter Registration Application:

    • Complete the request form on this website
    • Telephone (850) 651-7272 or (850) 689-5600 to have one mailed to you
    • Visit our offices at 1250 Eglin Pkwy, Suite 103 in Shalimar or 302 N. Wilson Street, Suite 102 in Crestview
    • Drivers License offices
    • Public libraries (Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Mary Esther, Valparaiso, Niceville, and Crestview)
    • Children & Family Services Centers in Fort Walton Beach and Crestview that provide public assistance and food stamps, WIC, AFDC, Medicaid, and Public Health
    • Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
    • Armed Forces Recruiting Offices
    • Department of Labor Offices serving persons with disabilities

All of the above locations are required to accept your completed form and forward it to our office within five days. See below for additional sources.

 

3. Can I pick up or download a form and just mail it in?     back to top

Anyone who registers by mail and who has never previously voted in Florida and who does not hold a current and valid Florida driver's license, Florida ID card, or social security number, has to provide a copy of a current and valid identification OR fit one of the exemptions. Such identification or exemption may be provided when registering or at any time prior to voting for the first time in the state. Acceptable ID includes military ID, U.S. Passport, student ID, public assistance ID and others; contact the elections office for additional information.

Certain persons are exempt: persons 65 years of age or older; those with a temporary or permanent disability; military members on active duty and their dependents; merchant marine members and their dependents; and civilians residing outside the U.S. who are eligible to vote in Florida; and persons who have previously voted in Florida.


4. Do I have to re-register (a) if I haven't voted in a long time, or (b) every time I move?     back to top

(a) No, we have a permanent voter registration system. However, a voter by law is required to:

    • Inform the elections office of any change of address within the county or state
    • Respond to a request for Address Confirmation in order to keep your record current as an active voter. Note:  It is suggested that a voter make some form of contact at least every two years to insure active status.

(b) You do not have to re-register, but you do have to notify the elections office of your new address.

 

5. Do I have to choose a political party?      back to top

No, it is not required. If you do not choose a party, you will be registered as "No Party Affiliation." Voters registered as No Party Affiliation or in a minor party may not vote for major party (Democrat and Republican) candidates in a primary, but may vote on non-partisan candidates and issues in the primary.

 

6. Does being "No Party Affiliation" or minor party mean I can vote for anyone in a primary?  back to top    

No, as Florida is a closed primary state. Only the two major parties (Republican and Democrat) have primaries, which are nominating elections, and you have to be registered as a member of the party whose primary you wish to vote in. However, all voters may vote in a primary for nonpartisan races, such as school board members, judges, and referenda. The only other exception is for a Universal Primary.  A new law in 2007 now allows minor parties to have primaries. 

 

7. What is a Universal Primary?      back to top

If, in any race, only candidates of one major party have qualified and there is no minor party, independent, or write-in candidates for the general election, that race will be on the primary ballot for ALL registered voters of the jurisdiction, regardless of party registration.

 

8. How do I change my political party?      back to top

A party change must be made on a Florida Voter Registration Application with the signature of the voter. Party changes will not be processed when the registration books are closed 29 days prior to any election. Click here to change your political party.

 

9. My name has changed (marriage, divorce, other legal act). How do I change my name on your records?   back to top

A name change must be made on a Florida Voter Registration Application with the signature of the voter's new name. Please include former name on the form as well. If your address has also changed, you can make the address change on the same document as your new signature. Click here to change your name.

 

10. How do I change my address?      back to top

Address changes within the county of registration can be made in writing on the Florida Voter Registration Application or by email, fax or telephone, just about by any contact with the elections office. Or simply change your address online by clicking here. If you are moving INTO Okaloosa County from another Florida county you can also change your address online by clicking here. If you have moved OUT OF Okaloosa County, you must contact your NEW county's Supervisor of Elections' office or use the Florida Voter Registration Application form to change your address. 

 

11. What identification do I need to vote?      back to top

Voter ID cards issued prior to January 1, 2006 are no longer valid for identification when voting, and are no longer issued. For voting, you must have photo and signature ID, such as a driver's license or military ID (among other things), or you may use two separate pieces. See List of Acceptable ID:

    • Florida Driver’s License
    • Florida ID Card issued by the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles
    • Military ID
    • Current U.S. Passport
    • Debit/Credit Cards
    • Student ID
    • Retirement Center ID
    • Neighborhood Association ID
    • Public Assistance ID
    • FL Concealed Carry Permit

    • Veteran Health ID Card

    • Federal, State, or Local Government Employee ID Card


12. If my voter ID card is lost or stolen, how do I get a replacement?      back to top

Wallet-size Voter ID cards were discontinued by law as of January 1, 2006, since they can no longer be used for identification to vote. They have been replaced by Voter Information Cards, which may not be used for identification. Voters may request a duplicate Voter Information Card from the supervisor of elections with a signed, written request. Click here to fill out the online form to request a replacement Voter Information Card.

 

13. I moved since the last time I voted. I forgot to change my address. Do I vote at my old precinct? 

Call the Supervisor of Elections Office or check the website to find the location of your new precinct's polling place before you go to vote. You may change your address at the new precinct. It is a felony to vote in a precinct in which you do not live.

 

14. If I am unable to go to the polls on election day, how can I vote?    back to top  

If you can not go to the polls on Election Day, there are two other forms of voting: Vote by Mail (Absentee) or Vote Early. You may request an Vote by Mail ballot by telephone, mail, email, fax, or in person, to be mailed or picked up in person. Or you may Vote Early at any one of our early voting sites 10 days prior to a regularly scheduled election.

 

15. Can someone pick up or return an absentee ballot for me?      back to top

You must designate, in writing, a member of your immediate family to pick up a ballot for you, no earlier than five days before an election, and provide certain required information. You can also have someone else return your ballot. In both cases, the designee for pick-up or delivery must provide identification. Candidates may not pick up or return ballots for anyone except members of his/her immediate family.

 

16. When does my absentee ballot have to be returned to your office?      back to top

The ballot must be in either one of our two offices by 7 p.m. CST on election day in order to be counted. However, if you are overseas and voting in a federal election, your ballot must be postmarked by the date of the election and we must receive it within 10 days of the election for it to be counted.

 

17. How do voters names get removed and/or re-instated?     back to top

    • If a voter moves to another county in Florida and registers there (now just an address change), the state-wide Florida Voter Registration System will notify us that you are now registered there and you will be listed as "Moved" in our county.  You remain eligible to vote in your new county even if books have closed for the election.
    • If a voter registers in another state and indicates his/her prior registration here in Florida, we will also be notified, in most cases, and your Florida registration would be canceled.
    • If we receive notification from the post office that a voter's address has changed, we will send an Address Verification card to the new address for the voter to verify the effect on his/her registration. If that, or any other piece of first class mail, comes back to the office as Returned Undeliverable mail, we send an Address Confirmation Final Notice and if we receive no response within 30 days, or if it comes back Undeliverable as well, the voter will be placed on Inactive status.
    • Voters on the Inactive list can be re-instated by updating their voter registration, appearing to vote, or requesting an absentee ballot, provided that their status has not changed. However, after two general (federal) elections from the date the final notice was sent, all Inactive voters who show no activity will be removed from the registration records and must register again in order to vote.

     

    18. If I am not currently registered, what is the registration deadline for an election?     back to top

    The registration deadline and book closing is 29 days prior to an election.

     

    19. Do the courts get prospective jurors' names from voter registration rolls?    back to top

    No. The courts obtain their prospective jurors from the list of persons age 18 and older who have a driver’s license in the Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (HSMV) Drivers License Division.

     

    20. I've never voted before. Will someone show me what to do?      back to top

    Yes. Our Greeter/Voter Education Inspector will offer you a demonstration on how to use the voting equipment when you arrive at the polling place.

     

    21. If I'm physically impaired in some way, can I bring someone with me to help me vote?     

    Yes, you may but you are not required to. If you need assistance, two of our poll workers from different political parties will assist you as needed.  We will also now have one touch screen voting machine in each polling place capable of allowing disabled voters to vote secretly and independently, without any assistance. 

     

    22. What happens if I make a mistake on my ballot?      back to top

    Tell the poll workers you have made a mistake, and you will be issued a new ballot in exchange for your "spoiled" ballot, which is sealed in an envelope and never opened.  You may have up to three ballots maximum.

     

    23. What happens if I forget to bring my ID with me to the polls?    back to top

    As of January 1, 2006, whether or not your name is in the precinct register, you will be required to vote by provisional ballot.  You have until 5 p.m. on the 2nd day after the election to provide ID, if necessary, for the canvassing board to validate your ballot.

     

    24. What hours are the polls open?      back to top

    The polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election day. If you are in line by 7 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.


    25. Can I just turn my voted absentee ballot in at my polling place?      back to top

    No, your voted absentee ballot must be turned in at one of our two offices.

     

    26. Can I bring my children with me to the polling place?      back to top

    Yes, you may bring your children with you. We have sample ballots designed especially for young children as well as older children and ask only that they behave appropriately. Bringing your children with you helps to educate them on the importance of voting.

     

    27. How do I become a poll worker?      back to top

    Click here for information on becoming a Poll Worker.

     

    28. Can I change my political party at the polls?      back to top

    No, registration books close 29 days before an election, so party changes must be done prior to the book closing date in order to be in effect for that election.

     

    29. Can I bring my marked sample ballot to the polls?      back to top

    Yes, as long as you do not display it for others to see and do not leave it in the polling place. We encourage use of the sample ballot.

     

    30. Can I still vote if I’ve been convicted of a felony?      back to top

    You can still vote after a felony conviction if your civil rights have been restored.

     

    31. How do I find out if my civil rights have been restored?      back to top

    You may either call our office to ask for assistance or you may visit the website of the Office of Executive Clemency at https://www.fcor.state.fl.us/clemency.shtml for information.

     

    32. What is a provisional ballot?      back to top

    A provisional ballot is a conditional ballot, the validity of which is determined by the canvassing board.