When, How and Where to Register to Vote


Ryan Shay '20, Staff Writer

Just when you thought college admissions and subsequent financial aid registrations were the only things to be responsible for in 2020, the year has brought with it a new presidential election. As seniors this year, we are most, if not all, 18 years of age, meaning that most, if not all, of us can vote in this upcoming election and those thereafter. It is our responsibility and our right to vote, yet many have not registered: according to the Census Bureau, only 55.4% of individuals ages 18 to 24 registered to vote for the 2016 election (24.7% said they had not registered). If you have not this year, here is when, how and where to register to vote.

There are three parts to the presidential election in Florida: The Presidential Preference Primary (PPP), in which “voters registered with one of Florida’s major political parties express their preference for the presidential candidate they would like to see representing their party on the General Election ballot in November”; the Primary Election — differing from the PPP in that independents can vote — in which “voters can indicate their preference for their party’s candidate, or a candidate in general, in an upcoming general election, local election, or by-election, with the goal of narrowing the field of candidates”; and the General Election, in which “candidates are elected to offices.” It is here that the President is chosen from the filtered candidates that, through their rallies, town halls and proffered political policies, connected most with voters before the Primary Election.

The PPP is on March 17, but you must be registered by February 18 to participate. If you missed the PPP deadline, you must register to vote by July 20 in order to participate in the Primary Election on August 18. The General Election will take place on November 3, and the deadline to register to vote is on October 5. All deadlines can be found here.

To register to vote, you can do so online, through the mail or in person. To register online, you can use the link here. You will need your Florida drivers license or Florida ID card. Additionally, to “protect your identity,” you will need your Florida drivers license and Florida ID card issue date and the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. You can also use this form to register and send to your County Supervisor of Elections. To register elsewhere, you can do so at the Driver’s Licenses Offices, the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office, various public library locations (availability may vary), the Public Assistance Office or the Tax Collectors Office and Branch Offices.The locations to vote in all three elections can be found here; To best maximize this new power of yours, I recommend downloading the Countable app. It is a go-to app that “makes learning about what your government is up to easy and fun.” You can “[l]earn about issues you care about, influence Congress with one-tap voting, and rally your friends around specific legislation.”5

Image courtesy of Dwight Burdette.