Election season is an interesting time. A time when you really wish your Facebook feed would just self-destruct. A time when all your friends, family and acquaintances are arguing and cursing at each other on social media trying to one-up the other with links and memes to support their political views. With all of the aggression surrounding politics, especially this year, it can be easy to find yourself simply wanting to avoid it altogether. You may not want to be involved in politics, but like it or not, it does involve you.

If you’re stuck trying to decide what to do or even where to begin, start with our simple guide here and do your duty as an American citizen this year. Unplug yourself from the social media clusterf**k and spend a little time educating yourself on this year’s ballot, which you can find here.

Vote Early (Oct. 24-Nov. 6):

Voting early is a trend that has been picking up steam in recent years. Any voter registered in Florida can vote early in person before Election Day, and depending on the dates set by your particular county, early voting typically starts between Oct. 24 and Oct. 29, and ends on either Nov. 5 or Nov. 6. Remember to bring an accepted form of ID with you. You can find a full list of this below.

Vote on Election Day (Nov. 8):

If procrastination is more your style, you can still go the old-fashioned route and vote on election day. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., but if you’re already in line by 7 p.m., then you’re still allowed to vote. Don’t forget to bring your necessary ID.

Bring an accepted form of ID:

Any of the following IDs that show your photo and signature will do. If it doesn’t meet those requirements, then prepare to be frustrated.

  • Florida driver’s license
  • Florida ID card
  • U.S. passport
  • Debit or credit card
  • Military ID
  • Student ID
  • Retirement center ID
  • Neighborhood association ID
  • Public assistance ID
  • Veteran health ID card
  • License to carry a concealed weapon or firearm
  • Employee ID card issued by the federal government, the state of Florida or any county or municipality
trump-clinton-newspapers-hed-2016

Don’t simply vote because you hate someone, and don’t blindly vote based on party affiliation.

Where To Vote:

Not sure on where exactly to vote? You can find out easily by visiting this link and using the service provided by Google. All you need to do is type in your address and voilà!

Vote By Mail:

Alternatively, you can vote by mail and skip the lines at in-person polling locations. If you’re unsure how to do this, browse our guide below.

1. Request your mail ballot

Apply for your mail ballot online or request a ballot by contacting your County Supervisor of Elections by email, fax, mail or phone.

Include the following information if you send in a written request:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Birthday
  • Signature

Submit your request so that it’s received no later than 5 p.m. on Nov. 2.

2. Vote

  • Once you receive your mail ballot, follow the instructions to fill out the ballot and return envelope
  • Attach a copy of an accepted ID (if required)
  • Mail your ballot to the address on the return envelope so that it’s received no later than 7 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 8
  • Check the status of your ballot on myflorida.com

3. ID requirements

If you’ve voted in Florida before, then you don’t need to provide ID to vote by mail. If you’re a first time Florida voter who registered by mail and you didn’t provide ID when you registered, then you’ll need to provide a photocopy of one of the following forms of ID along with your mail ballot:

  • A copy of a current photo ID
  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and address

 

There are many guides breaking down everything you’ll be voting on (like the one featured in our upcoming Freedom Issue dropping Nov. 1). The most important thing here (even if I sound like your crotchety grandmother) is that you do vote. That being said, ensure that you do so once you are sufficiently educated and prepared. Be an American, do your duty and feel confident in whatever decision you make come November 8. We’re all in this together.