Going to the Polls and Not Sure What Your Rights Are? The ACLU of Florida's Voting Rights Flier Now Online

November 5, 2001 12:00 am

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MIAMI –As part of its continuing mission to inform voters about their rights, the Florida Equal Voting Rights Project, a project of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida in conjunction with the Florida Justice Institute and Florida Legal Services, has created an informational flier to educate voters about their rights when going to the polls.

The one-page leaflet, which is available on the ACLU of Florida website (www.aclufl.org), summarizes basic protections outlined in state and federal laws that apply to every voter in Florida and answers questions such as: What are your rights as a voter in Florida? Can you vote if you lose your voter registration card or get to the polls at 7:05 p.m.? Are you entitled to vote in Spanish? What if you make a mistake, can you ask a poll worker for a new ballot?

The useful tips cover everything from what to do if you have moved, to lesser-known, but important, laws that protect voters who are disabled, cannot read English or don’t understand how to use the voting equipment.

Here are some helpful tips Florida voters should know before going to the polls on November 6:

1. You have the right to receive up to two replacement ballots if you make a mistake prior to casting your ballot. If you make a mistake, start over with a fresh ballot.

2. You have the right to vote in your new precinct if you have moved within the same county but have not yet registered at your new address. Your poll worker must allow you to vote after you fill out an address verification form.

3. You have the right to vote even if you failed to bring photo or signature identification to the polling station. If you did not bring a photo ID, state law allows you to vote if your name is on the register and you sign a statement verifying your name and address. No one can be refused the right to vote solely because he or she failed to bring photo or signature ID to the polling place.

4. You have the right to receive all voting materials and poll worker assistance in Spanish if you live in Broward, Collier, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Monroe, or Orange County.

5. You have the right to cast a vote if you are in line at the time the polls close.

Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.

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