Student Voter Guide for Florida’s 2020 Presidential Primary Election
This guide will help you participate in Florida’s March 17 presidential primary, in which you can help choose America’s presidential nominees. You can register as unaffiliated in Florida; however, in the presidential primary, you must be registered with either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party in order to vote, and then choose one of the candidates from your party.
Dates and Deadlines
- Primary election date: March 17, 2020, 7 AM to 7 PM
- Last day to register for this primary, or update your party affiliation: February 18
- Early voting period: March 7 to 14 (check your county Supervisor of Elections for any additional days and for locations)
- Deadline to request that a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed: March 7 by 5 PM
- Deadline for vote-by-mail ballot to be received by Supervisor of Elections: March 17, by 7 PM
Why this primary matters
You have a chance to determine the presidential nominees for one of the two major political parties. With 248 Democratic and 122 Republican delegates, the primary plays an important role. Democratic Party delegates are allotted proportionately, with a 15% threshold, while Republican Party delegates are allotted by statewide Winner Take All.
For Republican and Democratic presidential candidate websites, CNN has a complete list. Politico also has a quick guide to Democratic candidate positions.
You are eligible to vote if you are:
- A United States citizen
- A Florida resident
- At least 18 years old (you can preregister to vote if you’re at least 16 years old)
- Not adjudicated as mentally incompetent
- Not convicted of a felony unless your voting rights have been restored (see Florida Dept of State FAQ, question 15 for restoration information)
How to register to vote
You can register online, at your Florida driver’s license office, at a tax collector’s office that also issues driver’s licenses or Florida ID cards, or at a voter registration agency. You can also download and print a paper version in English or Spanish. You can also find a paper application at your county Supervisor of Elections or any place authorized to issue hunting, fishing, or trapping permits. See this Register to Vote page for more information.
ID Requirements for registering
To register, you will need either:
- A current Florida driver’s license or Florida ID card issued by the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles, or
- The last four digits of your Social Security Number
If you are registering by mail, have never voted in Florida, and have never been issued one of the IDs above, you should include with your application or at a later time before you vote either a copy of an ID that shows your name and photo or a copy of an ID that shows your name and current address. (See form for details.)
ID Requirements for voting
During early voting or on Election Day, you will be asked to show one of the following photo IDs (valid as long as it contains your signature):
- Current Florida driver’s license or Florida ID card issued by FLHSMV
- United States passport
- Debit or credit card
- Military ID
- Student ID
Several other forms of ID are acceptable. See the Election Day Voting page for a full list.
You can vote using a ballot that you pick up or get in the mail, without going to the polls during early voting or on Election Day. You don’t need an excuse to vote by mail, unless you do it on Election Day, when you will need to fill out a special emergency form. Instructions for requesting and using a vote-by-mail ballot are on the Vote-by-Mail page.
Address to use for registering and 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. 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
- Affect your in-state or out-of-state student status.
- Register to Vote
- Find your polling place from your county Supervisor of Elections
- Florida Democratic Party
- Republican Party of Florida
- 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