Elections office visits Broward to inform students
South Bureau Chief
With the Florida Democratic and Republican Primary on March 17, it is important that students know when, where and how to vote. The Political Science Club collaborated with the Broward County Supervisor of Election’s voter outreach office to make sure that students can get informed about the process.
Led by John Way, Public Services Director for the Broward County Supervisor of Elections, the voter outreach office came out to Broward College’s South Campus to inform students about important voting information and hold a question and answer session.
Students who were at the presentation got a lesson in Florida voting laws and regulations. Florida’s primary is on March 17, but early voting is from March 5 to March 17.
While you must go to your specific precinct on March 17, if you participate in early voting you can go to any of the 22 early voting locations across the county and cast your ballot.
As South Campus’s library is an early voting location, this was surprising and beneficial to many students.
Way also explained that Florida is a closed primary, where you can only vote in the primary of the party you are registered with and that in Florida that the cutoff to register to vote is 29 days before an election.
Students were also informed that on the ballot they would vote for their party’s presidential candidate along with local officials such as judges, school board members and city council members, and were given pamphlets with additional information.
The question and answer session were extremely beneficial, as students were able to air their questions and grievances about the Broward County elections office and the voting process directly to members of the elections office.
Some of the student’s concerns that were brought up were ex-felons voting rights, past election issues with ballots, online voting and concerns about all votes being counted. Way made sure to respond to each of their concerns. When it comes to felons voting and a poll tax, he explained that the county does not check for a voter’s criminal history, but that is done at the federal level, which he cannot control.
As with past issues with ballots, he explained that many of the issues are overblown and false and that his boss Brenda Snipes took unwarranted flack for these false claims.
When discussing the hope for online voting in the future, he believes in the idea but that in the current state of elections they would be susceptible to hacking and interference.
When he answered the question about if his votes matter, he gave a passionate response: “I am a voter just like you all. If I did not believe in the system, I would not be here.”
Overall, the event allowed students to become more informed about the voting process and discuss their concerns with the election office face to face.
The outreach team plans to come back in the future and show off the voting machines to show students how safe the process is and the measures taken to ensure votes are counted.