VIERA, Florida -- The deadline to register to vote or change parties to vote in the upcoming primary elections is July 16, 2012.
Over the last few election cycles, many disenfranchised voters changed or registered their party affiliation to Independent or No Party Affiliation. As of July 6, 2012, there are 157,756 Republicans, 127,540 Democrats, and 81,087 Other registered voters in Brevard County.
Brevard County is heavily dominated by the Republican Party as compared to the rest of Florida or the U.S. As a result, very often the Brevard County political candidate who wins the Republican primary becomes the presumptive winner for that respective office. So the only way a Brevard County non-party affiliated voter or other registered party voter can often have a say in these Brevard County partisan elections is to register Republican.
The good news for Brevard County voters 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:
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.
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: