In the upcoming primary elections on August 20, voters in Florida must remember that the state operates under a closed primary system. This means that only voters registered with a specific political party are eligible to vote for their party’s candidates in the primary election. Understanding this system is crucial for participating effectively in Florida’s electoral process.

What is a Closed Primary?

A closed primary system restricts voting in primary elections to those who are registered members of a political party. In Florida, this means:

  • Registered Republicans can only vote for Republican candidates.
  • Registered Democrats can only vote for Democratic candidates.

Independent or No Party Affiliation (NPA) voters are not permitted to vote in partisan primaries unless there is a Universal Primary Contest (UPC), where all candidates are from the same party, and the winner will face no opposition in the general election.

Why Does It Matter?

The closed primary system impacts how and when voters can participate in choosing candidates for the general election. It ensures that only party members influence the selection of their party’s candidates, which can affect the overall electoral outcome and the issues that candidates prioritize.

Action Required for Voters

To participate in the primary election:

  1. Check Your Party Affiliation: Make sure your voter registration reflects the correct party affiliation. This is essential to receive the appropriate ballot on election day.
  2. Update by July 22: The deadline to update your party affiliation is July 22. Changes can be made through the Osceola County Supervisor of Elections office.
  3. Verify Your Information: Confirm your voter registration and party affiliation status online. Visit Check Your Voter Status to ensure all your details are up-to-date.

Important Dates

  • July 22: Deadline to update party affiliation for the primary.
  • August 20: Primary Election Day.

Understanding Florida’s closed primary system is essential for ensuring that your vote counts in the primary elections. Make sure to check and update your voter registration by the deadline to participate in choosing your party’s candidates. Stay informed and exercise your right to vote effectively!

For more information about voting in the upcoming elections, including registering for mail-in ballots and early voting, visit the Osceola County Supervisor of Elections Office website.