Elections are just around the corner and deadlines are fast approaching.
Though time seems to move at a standstill while the nation continues to cope with the realities of living in this widespread pandemic, elections are fast approaching.
It’s impossible to log onto social media and not see your friends voicing their strong opinions regarding the state of American politics. COVID-19 appears to have brought politics firmly back into the spotlight for many citizens and talks of changing things up come November are running rampant online.
But you can’t make a change if you aren’t registered to vote. Florida is a closed primary state, which means you have to be registered for a specific political party to then vote in that party’s primary.
A major deadline is mere days away for the nation’s upcoming election.
In order to vote in the primary election you have to be registered by July 20. Bruton Memorial Library, 302 McLendon St., is one of the local early voting locations. Early voting for the primary will run from Aug. 3 to Aug. 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
When you arrive to early vote, you shouldn’t come empty handed. To ensure a seamless voting process, you will need a current and valid photo and signature ID. A few acceptable forms of ID can include a Florida Driver License, a Florida ID Card (issued by DHSMV), a US Passport, a debit or credit card, a Military ID, a Student ID, a Retirement Center ID, a Neighborhood Association ID, a Public Assistance ID, a Veteran Health ID (issued by VA), a Concealed Weapon License (issued pursuant to s. 790.06) or a Government Employee ID. If you do not bring ID, you may vote with a provisional ballot.
No one expects you to have every candidate and issue memorized. You are more than welcome to bring in your sample ballot and use it as a reference when you fill out your official ballot.
The actual Primary Election Day is Aug. 18 and voting will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Those who are registered to vote are assigned a voting location. You must vote in your assigned polling place on the actual Election Day. If you are unsure about where that is, you have two options: call the Supervisor of Elections at 813-744-5900 or visit their website — votehillsborough.org — and look it up for yourself.
On Election Day, you also need to have a valid form of ID. The same examples listed for the primary work here as well.
As for the General Election, you must be registered to vote by Oct. 5. Early Voting will be open at selected locations from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 19 to Nov. 1. Election Day is Nov. 3 and assigned polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.