Do you want to make America great again, or do you consider yourself more of a “Courageous Conservative”? Are you feeling the Bern all over? Do you prefer a candidate with an exclamation point at the end of their logo, or one with a arrow through theirs? Trump? Cruz? Sanders? Jeb? Clinton? Whomever it is that gets your democratic juices flowing, they can never become president if they don’t beat out their fellow party members in the primaries. So before the big vote in November, there is an election next month (in Florida) that may be even more important.
If you’re over the age of 18 (or will be by your state’s primary date), then it’s about that time of the year to get political. The primary rules and registration process can be really, really annoying and confusing, so here’s a little democracy-for-dummies cheat sheet for all the stuff you should know and do before casting your vote. (I know it’s tedious but there are memes at the bottom afterwards!!)
First thing you should know: The Florida primaries will take place on March 15th. However, if you wish to vote in the Florida primaries, you must be registered by February 16th (IN TWO DAYS).
Second important thing: Florida is a closed primary state, which means you can only vote in the primary in the party you are registered to. That means that if you are registered as an independent you cannot vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary unless you change that information.
Check these links for other state deadlines and primary dates if you are returning there or doing absentee voting in a state besides Florida. Absentee voting simply means you mail in your vote a little before election day cause you are registered to vote in a state you do not currently live in. This doesn’t come into play until around the actual election day, but you still need to register beforehand sometime (how much prior depends on the state so peep those links!).
This gives you 2 days…Where do you go from here?
A. Check out this website to check your voter ID card, which shows you if you’re registered and to what party and what precinct you are (really important because that’s where your voting station will be). Or here if you’re registered in another state.
B. If you’re not registered or your address is wrong or you’re registered as independent or you’d rather vote in the other party’s primary for some reason, then you need to change that information in Florida or any other “closed primary state”. So how do you register or change that information?
1. A group called Get Out the Vote will be on campus this week registering people and updating people’s information. So be on the look out for them cause they’ll do all the boring stuff for you like mailing it in.
2. You can actually register online in 23 states (sorry not Florida yet) but check here if you are/want to register in another state. **make sure your Google pop-up blocker is off or try in it Safari. If that’s too much to handle, then here’s another website.
3. Call the Miami-Dade Elections Department at 305-499-VOTE (8683) and if you are already registered they can make some changes over the phone but not all. Call and see!
4. Print out your own voter registration form HERE and fill it out in pen. Then you must mail it (yes like in an envelop like they did in the last century) to a county Supervisor of Elections office. The closest one is in Miami so put this on the front of the envelop:
Miami-Dade County Supervisor of Elections
The Honorable Penelope Townsley
2700 NW 87th Ave
Miami FL 33172
Lick it and stick it in mailbox and get your voting fingers ready!
(P.S. it just needs to be postmarked by Feb 16th. But you can also drop it off by hand too by then!)
Yes, so many facts and rules and things to do I know, but that’s how it works so we don’t have douchey kings and scary feudal overlords anymore. There will be more info to come next month when it’s game time. Anyway – here you go all you meme fiends. Truly, thanks for the effort.