Reminder: Florida is a Closed Primary State
By Deborah Clark
Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections
The Presidential Preference Primary will be held on March 15, 2016. In addition, select municipalities in Pinellas County will also conduct elections on that day.
Both the Republican and Democratic Parties are selecting a presidential nominee this year. In order to vote for a candidate in the Presidential Preference Primary, you must be registered with one of these two major political parties. However, all registered voters in municipalities holding elections in conjunction with the Presidential Preference Primary may vote for all municipal contests and ballot questions.
This is because Florida is a “closed primary state.” In a Primary Election, a qualified voter is entitled to vote the ballot of the political party with which the voter is registered:
- A voter registered as a Republican may vote for Republican, Nonpartisan candidates and ballot issues only
- A voter registered as a Democrat may vote for Democratic, Nonpartisan candidates and ballot issues only
- A voter registered with a minor party may only vote for the minor party, Nonpartisan candidates and ballot issues only
- A voter registered with no party may only vote for Nonpartisan candidates and ballot issues only
It is important to remember that Tuesday, February 16 is the deadline to register to vote and to change your political party affiliation for the March 15 Presidential Preference Primary and Municipal Elections. Any political party affiliation changes made between February 17 and March 15, 2016, will take effect for future elections.
Visit VotePinellas.com/Voter-Registration/Check-My-Registration-Status today to check which political party you are registered with. If you would like to change your political party affiliation, mail a signed written notice with your change of political party affiliation to the Supervisor of Elections Office and include your date of birth OR your voter information number; or complete a Voter Registration Application with your political party affiliation change and check “Record Update/Change” in the top box.
For additional information about the March 15, 2016 Presidential Preference Primary and Municipal Elections, including an updated list of candidates as well as which municipalities will be conducting elections, visit VotePinellas.com.
As always, if you have any questions, you can reach our office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 727-464-VOTE (8683). You can also follow us on Facebook (PinellasCountySOE), Twitter (@VotePinellas) and Instagram (@VotePinellas).
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