Tuesday, December 13, 2011

20 Days Left To Register To Vote Or Change Parties For Presidential Primary

There are just twenty days left before Florida voters can either register to vote or change parties for the United State Presidential Primary.  The deadline is January 3, 2012.

 

It would be better for voters (if they want to) to register to vote or change parties now before they become to caught up in the holidays and simply forget.

 

Over the last few election cycles, many disenfranchised voters changed or registered their party affiliation to Independent or No Party Affiliation.

 

But now that President Obama is the shoe-in for the Democratic Presidential Primary Nomination, the only way that Independents or NPAs can shape the issues which will be debated during the 2012 Presidential general election is to choose one of the Republican primary candidates that they favor in January.

 

The good news is that party change can be done from the comfort of your home without having to stand in line.

 

Below are the simple steps that someone can take to change their party affiliation inf Florida:

 

How to Change Your Name, Address, Party Affiliation, Update Your Signature, and/or Apply for a Replacement Card.

If you have already registered to vote in Florida, but need to change your name, address or party affiliation, update your signature, or apply for a replacement card:
  1. Fill in the Voter Registration Application online. If you wish, you can print the application and write your information in with a black ballpoint pen.
  2. Next to box 1, make sure to check the information you with to change or update:
    • Address Change If you move within a county after you have registered to vote, please notify your Supervisor of Elections. You may make the change in person, by phone or other electronic means or by other signed, written notice (e.g., Florida Voter Registration Application). You must provide your date of birth.
      If you move to another Florida county, you must use the Florida Voter Registration Application to change your address. However, if you provide the information directly to your Supervisor of Elections of the county of new residence, you may make the change in person, by phone or other electronic means or by other signed, written notice (e.g., Florida Voter Registration Application). You must provide your date of birth.
      Federal and State laws require you to vote in your precinct of residence.
    • Party Change (list of Political Parties registered in Florida). You can change your party affiliation by any signed written notice such as a voter registration application. It must include your date of birth or voter registration number.
    • Name Change. If your name changes by marriage or other legal process, submit the change in a signed written notice such as a voter registration application. It must include your date of birth or voter registration number.
    • Card Replacement.
    • Signature Update. You must submit signature updates using the voter registration application. In order for the signature updates to be used for signature comparisons in canvassing absentee and provisional ballots, the update must be received before canvassing of absentee ballots begins. Canvassing may begin as early as 15 days before an election.
  3. Print the application out.
  4. Sign your application. The application requires an original signature because you are swearing or affirming to an oath.
  5. Place the application in an envelope with a first class stamp.
  6. Mail the application to your county Supervisor of Elections. You may also opt to mail or hand deliver the application to any Supervisor of Elections office in the state, a driver’s license office, a voter registration agency, an armed forces recruitment office, or the Division of Elections.
  7. If the change is made, the Supervisor of Elections will mail you an updated voter information card. Make sure all of the information on your card is correct. If you have any questions, call your Supervisor of Elections.
If the information on the application is not true, the applicant can be convicted of a felony of the third degree and fined up to $5,000 and/or imprisoned for up to 5 years.

Dates to Remember When Registering to Vote

Your Registration Date

For new applicants, your registration date is the date your completed application is postmarked or hand delivered to any Supervisor of Elections’ office in the state, a driver’s license office, a voter registration agency, including an armed forced recruitment office, public library, or the Division of Elections.

When You Can Vote

You must be registered for at least 29 days before you can vote in an election. Since Florida is a closed primary state, only voters who are registered members of a political parties may vote for their respective party's candidates in a primary election. Voters without party affiliation are not eligible to vote for party candidates in a primary election. However, a constitutional amendment adopted in 1998 states that IF all candidates for an office have the same party affiliation and the winner will have no opposition in the general election, all qualified voters, regardless of party affiliation, may vote in the primary election for that office. Party changes must be made by the end of the 29th day before the Primary Election. If you are not registered to vote in the political party for which the primary election is being held, you may vote for nonpartisan candidates and issues.

2012 Voter Registration Book Closing Dates

You can apply to register to vote at any time. However, to vote in an election, you must be registered in the state by the book closing date, which is normally the 29th day before each election. The book closing dates for the 2012 election cycle are:
  • January 3, 2012………………Presidential Preference Primary
  • July 16, 2012……………………Primary Election
  • October 9, 2012………………General Election