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What you need to know about the 2020 elections across the greater Tampa Bay region.

Two Weeks Until Florida Voter Registration Deadline

A box of absentee ballots that read "Ballots Only" in bold yellow, sits on shelves waiting to go out for delivery.
Absentee ballots gather at the Hillsborough Elections Office weeks before the deadline to register to vote. Voters looking to register or change party affiliation must do so before February 18. Thomas Iacobucci/WUSF Public Media

The 2020 primaries are fast approaching in Florida. Those who have not yet registered to vote or changed party affiliation still have a little time to do so.

Primaries take place March 17. However, those who want to participate and are not registered voters, need to register before the February 18 deadline. 

There is now an online option which has made the process much more accessible for all voters, said Julie Marcus, the Pinellas County Chief Deputy Supervisor of Elections.

“That is what the endgame is for the supervisors of elections is – to make voter registration accessible, easy to understand, because if folks register to vote, then they can then participate in the process," Marcus said.

Only party affiliated voters in Florida can participate in primaries, and they can vote only for the candidates from their party. But everyone is allowed to change their party affiliation as long as it’s done before the registration deadline.

“The state of Florida is what they call a closed primary state,” Marcus said. “So we think it's very important for voters to check their voter registration status prior to this February 18 deadline to ensure that first, they are registered to vote, and second, they are registered with the political party they wish to be affiliated.”

The Pinellas County election offices will be open on both Presidents Day and the deadline day of February 18 to assist people in registration.

For those who wish to know more about the registration process and online application, visit the Florida Divison of Elections webpage.

Tristan Dodd is a WUSF/USF Zimmerman School digital news intern for spring 2020. He is currently a senior at USF, where he is completing his bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Production.
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