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Voting FAQ

Q: What voting equipment is used?

ES&S DS200 optical scanners and ExpressVote ballot marking devices are at all Early Voting and Election Day sites. High-speed, central count scanners are used to tabulate Vote By Mail ballots. All voters use paper ballots to vote.

 

Q: Do I have to vote in all the races?

No. The ballot scanner will count your votes in all of the races that you marked.

 

Q: What if I vote for too many candidates in a race?

If you’re voting in person, the ballot scanner will alert you that you have “overvoted” and allow you to request a new ballot or cast the ballot anyway. If you cast a ballot with an overvote (in person or by mail), all races except the overvoted race will be counted.

 

Q: What if I make a mistake on my ballot?

If you’re voting by mail, call our office and let us know you need a new ballot. If you’re voting in person, tell a poll worker. You can have up to three ballots, including the original. The ballot(s) with mistakes will be sealed inside a “spoiled ballot” envelope. If you make a mistake on your third ballot, the ballot cannot be corrected.

 

Q: Can I write in a candidate? 

We can only count votes for candidates who have submitted qualifying paperwork before the election. In races with qualified write-in candidates, your ballot will include a blank space with an oval next to it. If you fill in the oval and write in the name of a qualified write-in candidate, that vote will be counted.

 

Q: If I receive a Vote By Mail ballot, can I change my mind and vote in person?

Yes. In that case, your Vote By Mail ballot will be canceled at the polling place.

 

Q: What happens if the power goes out or there are technical problems at a voting site?

We have backup equipment, generators, internal batteries, printed check-in registers and an auxiliary ballot box to keep everything going with minimal interruption. If a ballot scanner stops working, you can wait for a replacement scanner to cast your ballot, or put your ballot in the auxiliary ballot box and it will be scanned after the polls close.

 

Q: What happens to my ballot after I’ve voted?

Paper ballots are secured and available for recounts or audits. We store ballots for 22 months.

 

Q: How do I know that my ballot will be counted? 

If you vote by mail, you can track your ballot on our website to see when your voted ballot has been received and counted. When you vote in person, the screen on the scanner indicates that your ballot has been accepted.

 

Q: What checks and balances ensure an accurate vote count? 

To make sure every ballot is counted, we have systematic, redundant procedures in place to track how many ballots are issued, returned and counted. To make sure every ballot is counted accurately, our ballot scanners are tested repeatedly and publicly before every election. Afterwards, we run a post-election audit using a separate system to retabulate the ballots and confirm the accuracy of our results. Finally, to ensure accountability, election results and voter history become public record that anyone can check.

 

Printable PDF version of this page (English and Spanish)

For more information or if you have a question that is not listed here, contact us at: 

voter@votehillsborough.gov or call (813) 744-5900.

CONTACT



Office Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Main Phone: (813) 744-5900 Toll Free: (888) 297-4362 Email: voter@votehillsborough.gov

Fred B. Karl County Center

601 E. Kennedy Blvd., 16th Floor
Tampa, FL 33602
Tel: (813) 272-5850
Fax: (813) 272-7043

Robert L. Gilder Elections Service Center

2514 North Falkenburg Rd.
Tampa, FL 33619
Tel: (813) 744-5900
Fax: (813) 744-5843

Northwest Regional Office

4575 Gunn Hwy.
Tampa, FL 33624
 
 

Southeast Regional Office

10020 South U.S. Hwy. 301
Riverview, FL 33578

Please note: Florida has a very broad public records law. Voter registration applications and other written communications to or from the Supervisor of Elections are public records and are available to the public and media upon request unless the information is subject to a specific statutory exemption. Email addresses are also public records. If you do not want your email address released in response to a public records request, please do not email us. Instead, contact us by mail or phone, or visit us in person. To request public records, contact the communications department by emailing  publicrecords@votehillsborough.gov or calling (813) 744-5900.