Understanding the main concepts of “Voting”
In recent months it has been hard to think about anything but the Coronavirus running rampant in our country. With thousands of new cases a day in Florida specifically, something like voting has been pushed to the back of our mind. While understandable, it is important you turn your attention to the upcoming August primary for local elections. While we all look forward to the general election in November, let us not forget the importance of voting locally.
What election is upcoming and who can I vote for?
In this upcoming primary, you will get to vote for candidates to represent the party in different races. As Florida is a closed primary state, depending on the party you are registered with, you can vote on who represents the party in different local elections.
If you are registered as a Democrat or Republican, you vote for who will represent the nominee for that party. If you are not affiliated with either party, you will only be able to vote for candidates that are not affiliated with either party. You will be voting for your nominee for your party in the national House of Representatives, your state rep in Florida’s House of Representatives, your representative in the Broward school board, the Sheriff, and the supervisor of elections.
What if I am not registered to vote or want to change my party affiliation?
However, if you are not affiliated with a party you can only vote for candidates not affiliated with a party. Sadly, the last day to register to vote or change your party affiliation is 29 days before the election, in this case that was July 20. While you will not be able to vote in this election, you can still change that information for the general election and all future elections using this hyperlink.
Where and when can I vote?
Due to the nationwide pandemic, many voters requested mail-in ballots. The last day to do that was July 6, so you will need to know the voting locations for your county. Broward has 22 different voting locations so there is most likely one near you. You can find your nearest voting location using this PDF that gives you all voting locations for every county in Florida, along with the hours. Early voting starts Aug. 8and ends Aug. 15, and the official primary is Aug. 18. Please remember to follow social distancing rules and wear a mask to avoid the spread of COVID, especially as many of the people working at voting stations are older and thus more vulnerable to the virus.
Remember that voting local is important, just as it is important to vote in state and federal elections. These races will have just as much, if not more impact on you and your community and it is important to use your vote to have representatives that you believe in and align with your views and goals.