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WUSF Public Media is focused on empowering your participation in democracy this election season. We’ve created places where you can ask questions about the election process, the issues and candidates. That feedback will inform the reporting you see here. We’re listening.

Can I leave parts of my ballot blank? We answer these and other Florida election questions

Image shows a ballot box with FAQ on the front and a paper question with a question mark on it

WUSF is answering the questions that you have ahead of the Nov. 8 general election as part of America Amplified, a partnership with public media newsrooms across the country.

Florida's midterm elections are less than a month away, and there's a lot of information out there as voters prepare ahead of Nov. 8.

WUSF is here to answer your questions and empower voters with the information they need to participate in what could be a challenging election season.

You can check out our Voter Guide for key dates, how to register, sample ballots, and what you must take with you to the polls.

You can also check out our Democracy 2022 page for a look at the constitutional amendments, the key races across the greater Tampa Bay region and statewide, and local referendums going before voters.

As part of a partnership with public media newsrooms across the country called America Amplified, we plan is to help you navigate changes in election laws, and what you can expect on your ballot.

Here is a sampling of questions that we have received. Do you have a question? Fill out this form and we will work to get it answered for you.

Tell Us:


  • Do you have to vote for every position listed on the ballot or can you just not vote for ones you may not be sure of?

You are not required to make a selection in every race listed on your ballot.

To better understand what’s on the ballot and decide what races you’d like to vote in, you can check out our voter guide. You can find information on statewide referendums here. Look to your local elections office, such as Hillsborough County' s election site so you can see what will be on your ballot.

  • Will Florida’s Constitutional Amendment 3 benefit retired law enforcement and corrections officials?

The language in the amendment is unclear. The only clue may be that it does mention "active duty members of the armed forces."

With regards to Constitutional Amendment 3, what happens if someone gets this new exemption but then changes jobs and is no longer eligible for that exemption in their new job.  Who monitors that and removes the extra $50,000 in exemptions?

Property taxes are overseen in Florida by Property Appraisers in each county. Any applications for exemptions would be made to that office and the county tax collector would handle enforcement. If a local homeowner and tax payer receives the exemption but then changes jobs and no longer qualifies, the exemption will be revoked or invalidated by the county tax collector.

  • How do I find out if I'm registered to vote?

You can check on your voter registration status by going to the Department of State’s website and click on the “Am I Already Registered?” button. The deadline to register or update your registration in Florida was October 11, 2022.

  • What can't I bring with me to the polls?

Yes, you can bring your cell phone, but you CANNOT use it to take a selfie of you and your ballot.

No, you cannot bring your firearm into a polling center. Florida is one of at least eight states that explicitly bans openly carried or concealed firearms at the polls.

Florida also prohibits any political campaign materials or electioneering within 150 feet of polling places.

  • Do you have to vote for every position listed on the ballot or can you just not vote for ones you may not be sure of?

You are not required to make a selection in every race listed on your ballot.

To better understand what’s on the ballot and decide what races you’d like to vote in, you can check out our voter guide. You can find information on statewide referendums here. Your zip code looks like you are from Hillsborough County. Here's a link to their election site so you can see what will be on your specific ballot.

  • Do we only vote for the people in our own county?

You are correct, your ballot will be based on the county and precinct where you live. It could ask you to make decisions for your city and county, or for offices that serve your area, such as judges in a circuit court district. Check with your county Supervisor of Elections to see what will be on your ballot.

  • How can I find out about the "down ballot" measures that don't get a lot of attention?

We asked Brian Corley, the supervisor of elections for Pasco County. He suggests voters start with the basics, like an online search.
"Fact check," Corley said. "You can Google a candidate's name and see what comes up. Click on the News tab, for example."

Corley says voters can learn more about a candidate's background that way, or find a campaign website that lists candidate positions on issues.

He says one tough area is judicial races, where candidates cannot espouse any position on issues. But Corley says you may find out how they have argued or ruled in previous cases.

"But when in doubt, you're gonna get your sample ballot," Corley said. "And you can do the research, harness the technology to make you be an informed voter."

  • Why do I have to vote again in races that I saw on the ballot in August, such as school board races?

Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer says many of the non-partisan school board races have several candidates in the primary, and a clear winner isn't declared.

"In the primary election, if a candidate doesn't get 50 percent plus 1 of the votes, then the top two vote-getters in that race would go on to the general election," Latimer said. "Almost like a runoff, if you will."

While races in Hillsborough and Sarasota counties were determined in August, school board runoffs in Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk will be decided on Nov. 8.

Is it too late for mail-in ballot?

Mail-in ballots had to be requested by Saturday Oct. 29. All completed ballots need to be received by 7 pm on Tuesday November. 8. See more here:https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/politics-issues/2022-10-22/early-voting-starts-monday-tampa-bay-area-what-you-need-to-know

If I don't know the persons who are running for a certain office, can I just leave it blank?

Yes! If you don't vote for a certain office on your ballot, it will not void your ballot. You can skip whatever offices you'd like.

Did I need to put postage on my mail-in ballot?  I didn’t.  What do I do now?

Your best bet is to check the actual ballot as some counties, like Pinellas and Hillsborough, DO cover the postage costs. We also called the Florida Secretary of State office, which said it could be returned to you as undeliverable. If so, they suggest taking it into your county Supervisor of Elections office directly to securely drop-it-off in time to be counted. You can also call them to check on the progress of the ballot.

[This post will be updated as we continue to get questions, and find answers.]

Our journalists are independent, curious, respectful, and accountable to you. We’re committed to keeping you at the center of this conversation on democracy, staying in touch through surveys, social media, and in-person events. We won’t be chasing politicians, but instead we’ll tell stories based on the questions you want answered.

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.