Student Voter Guide for Florida’s 2018 Primary Election
Why primaries matter
Primary elections determine which candidates will appear on the November ballot for each of the two major political parties, and sometimes for third parties. So they’re your prime chance to choose the eventual candidates. Even if your first choice doesn’t win, your votes can also influence the stands of the candidates who do.
Primaries replaced a system where candidates were chosen by party leaders or participants in party caucuses. They more accurately reflect our democracy by letting the general public select the candidates.
The Importance of Mid-Terms
In November 2018, voters will participate in a mid-term election, or one held between presidential-election years. Mid-term elections can be an important opportunity to express support or dissatisfaction with a president’s performance and policies. 2018 primaries will include candidate nominations for 34 U.S. Senate seats, all 435 U.S. Representative seats, plus governors, other statewide officials, and state legislative seats.
Who can vote in a primary election?
- See Type of Primary in the right sidebar of this page for for Florida
- Use the accompanying Primary Guide for Out-Of-State Students if you choose to register out of state.
You’re eligible to vote in Florida if you are a U.S. citizen, a Florida resident (including out of state college students) and are at least 18 years old by election day. Lawful permanent residents, commonly referred to as “green card holders” are not eligible to vote, and former felons must have their voting rights specifically restored, although there’s a ballot initiative to change this.
ID Requirements for registering – provide one of the following:
- Florida ID number
- Student ID
- Florida driver’s license number
- The last four digits of your social security number
- A copy of one of the documents listed on the election website (passport, utility bill, debit or credit card, etc.)
ID requirements for voting
Florida requires a photo ID with signature to vote, but if your ID lacks a signature, you can bring another ID with a signature, such as a debit or credit card. If you do not have the proper ID, you can vote a provisional ballot.
How to register
In Florida you can register by mail, in person at your election office, or online. See Key Resources for online access to registration forms.
Any registered voter can pick up an absentee ballot in person or request that it be mailed to from your County Supervisor of Elections.
Address to use for registering & voting
Per federal election law, college students can register and vote at either their campus address or their permanent home address, which may be out of state. However, voters can only be registered at one address. If you are not going to physically be in the state where you plan to vote, you will need to request an absentee ballot.
It’s your choice where to register, since registering at your campus address will not:
- Affect your federal financial aid
- Prevent your parents from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes
- Cost you any scholarships, unless they’re tied to specific residency requirements
- Or affect your tuition status as an in-state or out-of-state student.
For more detailed student voting guides, visit Campus Vote Project
- Florida election website – absentee ballot information, polling location, online voter registration, & other details
- Campus Vote Project – detailed student voting guides by state
- Vote411 – see candidate stands & generate a personalized ballot
- TurboVote or RockTheVote– get voter registration documents & email reminder
- July 30: Registration or changing party affiliation
- Aug 22: Absentee ballot request received by County Supervisor of Elections.
- Aug 28: Absentee ballot returned
- Aug 18 – Aug 25: Early voting
- Aug 28: Primary Election
TYPE OF PRIMARY:
Closed primary: Voter must be registered and enrolled in a political party to vote in that party’s primary. But all registered voters, regardless of party affiliation, can vote on issues and nonpartisan candidates.