The Hillsborough County Voter Guide: How to Register, Mail-in Ballots

I voted sticker held up against blue sky and tree

One of my heroes passed this year. John Lewis, the incredible civil rights activist and Congressman from Georgia was a fierce advocate of voting and the necessity of voting. In July of 2016, he said, “The right to vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool or instrument in a democratic society. We must use it.” 

That may seem melodramatic, but that’s because we’ve had the right to vote. I’ve never lived in a world where I had to fight for my right to vote. John Lewis and all the Civil Rights Activists throughout history did that for us. Now we get to use that right. 

I know that voting can be intimidating because it seems like there are so many bureaucratic hoops to jump through, but I promise, it’s so much easier than you think. Follow this simple voter guide and you’ll be ready to hit the polls in no time!

In order to vote in Hillsborough County, there are a couple of things that you need to do. 

Remote Ballot Drop-Off Locations

Between October 19, 2020 – November 1, 2020, from 7am- 7pm, you can drop off your ballot at any of these remote drop-off ballot locations

Note: On November 2 and 3, you can only drop off at these 4 locations.
Fred B Karl County Center 601 E Kennedy Blvd, Tampa
Northwest Elections Office 4575 Gunn Hwy, Tampa
Robert L Gilder Elections Service Center 2514 N Falkenburg Rd, Tampa
Southeast Elections Office 10020 S US Hwy 301, Riverview

Early Voting Ends on November 1

If you are registered already and wish to vote in person ahead of November 3, 2020 at a polling place instead of using a mail-in ballot, early voting is from October 24, 2020 – November 1, 2020. You can vote early in person at these locations between 7am – 7pm, Monday through Sunday. There is also a list of what you will need to bring. Make sure you have your valid photo ID with a signature on it. Make sure your signature matches the signature that the government has on file.

Want someone else to deliver your mail in ballot? Any person can collect and return other voters’ voted absentee ballots to the Supervisor of Elections.

Where to Vote on Election Day – November 3 

If you’re voting in person on Tuesday, November 3, here’s what you need to know. First, you’ll need to find your precinct and polling location. Click here to find your is on Vote Hillsborough. Polls open at 7am and close at 7pm on election day. Voter turnout is projected to be higher than average so expect a wait time at your polling location. Make sure to have a valid picture ID ready to show when you arrive.

If you are in line to vote when polls close at 7pm, stay in line. You will be allowed to vote as long as you remain in line. If you witness any form of voter intimidation, call the election protection hotline listed here.

Make sure your vote counted!

The best part about vote-by-mail is that you can verify your ballot was received! Your Supervisor of Elections has a “Track Your Ballot” tool on their website. You can know when exactly when your ballot is received and counted.

If your ballot shows that it wasn’t counted, there are fixes! A Supervisor of Elections is required to notify a voter as soon as it is practical if a voter’s signature is missing or does not match the one on record. You can also
call to check the status. Once you learn about the missing or mismatched signature, you can complete and return a “Vote-by-Mail Ballot Cure” Affidavit with a copy of identification. The deadline to submit the form and the ID is no later than 5 p.m. (local time) on the 2nd day after an
election.

Visit Vote Hillsborough for all the information any local voter would need ahead of the 2020 elections.