The last day for a person to register or to update their party affiliation to be eligible to vote in the March 17, 2020, presidential preference primary is Tuesday, Feb. 18, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner has announced. Turner recommends that voters confirm before the Feb. 18 deadline that they are registered to vote and that their voter registration information is current. A voter may check his or her voter eligibility at SarasotaVotes.com. New paper voter registration applications and party changes must be completed, signed and returned in person to an elections office or postmarked by the February 18 deadline. Applications submitted electronically before midnight on February 18 through RegistertoVoteFlorida.gov will also be accepted. Voters who have moved, changed names, or need to update their signatures since the last election may also complete a voter registration application to update their voter records. Applications are available at all three elections offices in Sarasota, Venice and North Port; at public libraries, military recruitment offices, and public assistance offices, and may be downloaded at SarasotaVotes.com. Voter registration applications may also be submitted through any driver license or tax collector’s office that issues Florida driver licenses or Florida ID cards.
Because Florida is a closed primary state, voters are eligible to vote only for the candidates of their own party in a primary election. Voters who are registered with a minor political party or without party affiliation (NPA) are not allowed to vote a Democratic or Republican primary ballot in the March 17 presidential preference primary. However, these voters may vote in nonpartisan contests and on ballot questions, such as the Holiday Park Park and Recreation District election (Pct 431) or the Longboat Key bond referendum (Pct 201) being held on March 17, also.