Be Ready To Vote Answers to Common Voter Questions
1. Case Study: I’m a Democrat, but I want to vote for a Republican nominee. Can I?
No and yes. If you change your registration to Republican, then you can vote in the Republican primary. But if you remain a Democrat, then you can only vote in the Democratic Primary. Florida is a “closed primary” state which means that only “members of the club” can participate in the club (or party) election.
2. What do I have to do to change my registration?
Voter registration deadline for the August 30th primary is 5 pm, August 1st.
The LWVSPA Voter Guide provides information and links to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections (SOE). For Florida residents living outside of Pinellas County, the League of Women Voters of Florida website can provide you with easy access to registration information.
You will need to take a photo ID to the polls when you go to vote. You will not be able to vote by mail.
3. How long am I required to be a member of the party? Do I have to stay in that party for the whole year?
There is no time requirement beyond the 29 days needed for the Supervisor of Elections office to update its books ahead of the election.
You can change parties as often as you want to – 29 days before every election if you want to.
4. My friend is an independent. He doesn’t belong to either party. What would he have to do?
In Florida, we call people who don’t belong to a political party a NPA (which stands for No Party Affiliation because sometimes a political party can call itself “independent.”) Your friend will have to register in a party to vote in a primary – the same as you. S/he will need to follow the same path that you do, going to the Supervisor’s website, clicking Register and so on.
5. You mentioned a photo ID. What kind of ID do I need?
You’ll need a photo ID with your signature. The best are government-issued, such as Florida drivers license, a Florida ID, a US passport, or a military or student ID. You may also use some debit or credit cards, a retirement center or neighborhood association ID or public assistance ID.
6. Do I vote the same place I voted last time?
Maybe – but maybe not. Finding out calls for another visit to the Supervisor of Elections’ website.
Your polling place depends on your “precinct” and, of course, since these are only used once in a while, they may have to be moved for various reasons. Each precinct has a number and yours will show up on your registration card. Check the number on your card with the Supervisor of Elections website to find the address. (It is also usually published in the newspaper on the weekend before the election.)
7. I’m going to be busy on Election Day, August 31, with business meetings and kids’ soccer practice after work. How easy is it for me to order a Vote by Mail ballot for the first time?
It sounds like you need to request an absentee ballot so that you can vote by mail. You can ask for one (but only for yourself or your immediate family) online, in person, by mail, or by telephone. Most Supervisor of Elections websites will have a form you can print out. You will have to provide your name, address, date of birth. If you’re asking for family member, you will also have provide your driver’s license number (if available) and your relationship to the voter.
8. Will my information be public?
In general, yes. But the law does allow privacy in certain cases, such as stalking. You should call or visit the Elections Office to discuss your case because the procedure to keep your information confidential is complicated.
For ALL your Election questions visit: LVSPA Pinellas County Voter Guide