Hey, Florida: Feb. 18 is the deadline to register to vote, or change parties, before the primaries

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click to enlarge Hey, Florida: Feb. 18 is the deadline to register to vote, or change parties, before the primaries
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If it’s worth arguing about on social media, it’s worth voting for. Don’t just be a slacktivist. The Presidential Preference Primary Election is March 17, and the deadline to register or change your party affiliation is Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Since Florida has a closed primary, voters will only be able to nominate representatives who are affiliated with their party. In other words, voters without a party affiliation are not able to vote for candidates who identify with a political party, such as Republican or Democratic candidates.

To register, you must be a Florida resident who is at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen with intact civil rights.

Since the Voting Restoration Amendment went into effect on Jan. 8, Floridians with felony convictions can have their voting rights restored after serving all terms of their sentence, which includes parole and probation. However, felons who were convicted of murder or sexual offenses will not have their voting rights restored (just don't tell that to Tampa Rep. James Grant, who’s been trying to make it harder to get citizen initiatives on the Florida ballot).

According to Florida law, you can register to vote or update your registration at any elections office and some public libraries, drivers license offices, centers for independent living, WIC and DCF offices, or at a community voter registration event.

You will need a state driver's license or identification card issued by the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles to register. Alternatively, if you don’t have that information, you can fill out a voter registration application online and deliver a signed copy to your county’s Supervisor of Elections office.

Floridians may also register online, in English or Spanish, at registertovoteflorida.gov.

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