August 18 Election is coming fast...are you ready
HOLMES AND WASHINGTON COUNTIES: As the August 18 primary election day barrels toward voters, many residents continue to reflect on who the best candidate is and prepare. Many voters however wonder about certain things, including whether or not they can even vote?
The state of Florida is considered a closed primary state, according to the Florida voters informational frequently asked questions website https://dos.myflorida.com/elections/contacts/frequently-asked-questions/faq-elections/.
The website says only voters who are registered members of the respective political party's candidates (Democratic or Republican usually) can vote for those candidate nominees in a primary election. This means if there are both Republicans and Democrats running for the same office in the Primary, a voter could only voter for the candidate that their political party is affilitated with. However, all registered voters can vote in a primary election, regardless of which major or minor political party they are registered when all candidates for an office have the same party affiliation or the race is nonpartisan.
Currently in Washington and Holmes County several offices which were up for election including the counties sheriff's offices, a seat on the Washington County commissioners, and seats on both counties school board went unopposed leaving the incumbents as the victors for their respective offices.
In Washington County The Supervisor of Elections office has candidates running in both Democratic and Republican parties.
The school board offices running are non-partisan offices meaning any voter, regardless of their political party affiliation may vote.
Don't Forget to Make Sure You are Registered
In order to vote, you have to be registered. If you’re not registered, you will be ineligible to vote in the primary.
If you’re not sure whether you’re registered to vote or not, you can check here on the Florida Department of State website.
If you’re not registered, you will be eligible to vote for the general election in November provided you are registered. You can register to vote online or make any changes to your voter information like changing your address or political affiliation.
What are my options to vote with during COVID?
One option is the Early Voting which is currently underway. Early voting allows you to cast your ballot before election day at certain polling places, which could help you avoid crowds. Check with your county’s election website to see when and where early voting is available near you.
The other option is Voting in person during the Election Day on August 18. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. As long as you are in line to vote by 7 p.m., you will be able to cast your ballot. If you choose to cast your ballot on Election Day, you must go to your Election Day polling place location.
Where do i vote?
If you’re voting in person it’s important to know where you’re going when it comes time to cast your ballot. Visit the Florida’s Department of State website or your county’s supervisor of elections website to find your voting precinct
Do I have everything I need?
When you head to the polls, make sure you have everything you need in order to be allowed to vote.
Polling places will accept any of these photo IDs:
-Florida driver’s license
-Florida ID card
-United States passport
-Debit or credit card
-Retirement center ID
-Neighborhood association ID
-Public assistance ID
-Veteran health ID card
-License to carry a concealed weapon
-Employee ID card issued by federal, state, county or municipal government
Your photo ID must include your signature. If it doesn’t, you will be asked to provide another form of ID that does have your signature.
***You may bring a copy of your sample ballot.Though it is not needed for voting it can be useful for informational purposes.***