Here's your election-year reminder that Florida is a closed primary state

Although Election Day is still months away, it's never too early to make sure you're registered to vote properly, especially in Florida.

For all you newbies who just moved here, Florida is one of nine states that has closed primaries. During primary elections, this type of system only allows registered voters of political parties to vote for their respective party candidates. Essentially, registered Democrats can only vote for someone on the Democratic ticket and registered Republicans can only vote for someone on the Republican ticket. Voters registered as having no party affiliation are basically left out in the cold – they can't vote for anyone in GOP or Democratic primaries. Like everyone else, though, they can vote in non-partisan races and general elections.

The Sun Sentinel reports NPA voters are "the fastest growing segment of the electorate," particularly among young people. In Orange County, more voters are registered as having no party affiliation (247,183) than registered as Republican (215,812). The majority of voters (338,948) are registered as Democrat, according to the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office.

Florida has several important political races going on this year, especially the one for governor. Democratic candidates who will compete in the primary include Chris King, Gwen Graham, Andrew Gillum, Philip Levine, Josue Larose and Louis Earl McClanahan III.

The Republican candidates include Ron DeSantis, Timothy Devine, Adam Putnam, Usha Jain, Issak Almaleh, Don Baldauf, Frederick Dee Buntin, John Mercadante, Bruce Nathan, Armando Rivas, Robert White and Ellen Wilds.

The deadline to register to vote in Florida's primary elections on Aug. 28 is a month before on July 30. Check your voter status here and for more information on how to get registered in Orange County, call the supervisor of elections office at 407-836-2070 or visit the website at

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