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MIAMI (CBSMiami) —  With just weeks until the 2018 midterm elections, now is the time to get registered to vote, especially if you are a first-time voter.

Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day, when volunteers across South Florida and the rest of the national help people register to vote in time for Election Day.

At Miami Dade College’s Kendall campus students lined up to register to vote.

For many new voters it will be a November ballot of discontent.

“I see the way the country is going, I’m not super happy with it and I know the power is within the people, so that’s the way I’m going to use my right to vote,“ said MDC Student David Bolanos after registering as an independent.

Single issues brought some, like student Carlos Rey, to register.

“I want to support a cause,” Rey said. “The environment.”

It could be a record turnout general election after a record primary, fueled by a president’s incessant tweets, a governor’s race pitting a liberal black Democrat against a staunch conservative Republican and a U.S. Senate run that sees a GOP governor in a close race with a long-time Democratic incumbent.

Some who were registering said they are looking for can-do candidates.

“I want to vote for people to fix the things that need to be fixed, and just not not fix them, leave them aside. We want them to be done,” said MDC Student Aryana Bell as she registered to be a voter.

Miami-Dade Democrats had a booth, and were registering all comers.

“We want everybody to register, and when we go out, all of our registration is completely non-partisan,” said Lisa Askowitz of the Miami-Dade Democrats.

The March For Our Lives movement, and the Road For Change Tour after the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school massacre fueled a wave of young people getting involved, creating a growing voting block that had not existed previously.

Yesenia Oviedo, 18, said she registered to vote immediately after the Parkland shooting.

“I was in high school when that happened, and I was that age, and I had a friend who was in that school,” Oviedo said on Tuesday.

Ashley Fernandez was wearing an anti-gun message on her shirt as she walked through the voter registration area.

“I do feel the need that I have to vote, and I have to tell my friends to vote, and I have to tell everybody who is 18 and over that they have to vote,” Fernandez said.

At the public library in Parkland Beth Gonzales the mother of Emma Gonzales, helped organize a voter registration drive with the group HeadCount.org.

Emma Gonzalez was a Stoneman Douglas student who lost friends in the mass shooting, gave an impassioned speech at The March For Our Lives rally, and became a prominent figure on national news shows.

Her mother said at the Parkland voter registration drive that there has been no more important time for people, particularly young people, to register and vote.

“The young people realize that they are going to be on this planet a lot longer than we are, and it’s up to them to decide what kind of future they want to have,” Beth Gonzalez said.

It is a future that increasingly appears ripe for shaping by a new generation.

Beth Gonzalez said on average 1 in 5 18 year olds vote.  If two in five voted, she said, they could decide every election.

If you aren’t registered to vote you can, easily, on line from wherever you  live in the country, at the website HeadCount.org.

The process takes about two minutes.

Here is the important information every Florida resident needs to know.

Florida offers online voter registration.

  • You can register to vote by mail in Florida by printing a copy of the National Voter Registration Form, filling it out, and mailing it to your local election office.
  • You can also register to vote in person if you prefer.

ONLINE VOTER REGISTRATION

Florida offers online voter registration.

  • You need a Florida ID and a Social Security number to use Florida’s online voter registration system.
  • The name and address on the ID must match your voter registration exactly, so you should plan to have your ID on hand.
  • If you don’t have a Florida-issued ID, or don’t have your Florida-issued ID on hand, you can still register to vote by mail.
  • You can register online until Tuesday, October 9.

REGISTER TO VOTE BY MAIL:

Print and fill out the National Voter Registration Form.

  • Box 6 – ID Number: If you have one, you must provide your Florida driver’s license number or Florida identification card number. If you do not have a Florida driver’s license or identification card, you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you have not been issued any of these numbers, you must write the word “NONE”.
  • Box 7 – Choice of Party: Florida requires that you register with a party to participate in partisan primary elections. You should register with the party whose primary you would like to vote in.
  • Box 8 – Race or Ethnic Group: You are requested, but not required, to fill in this box.
  • Review the “Who can vote?” section above and check that you’re eligible.
  • Sign the form.
  • Send the completed form to your local election official.

Miami-Dade County Elections Department

Broward County Elections Department

Monroe County Elections Department

  • To register by mail, the form must be postmarked by Tuesday, October 9.

REGISTER IN PERSON:

  • The deadline to register to vote in person is Tuesday, October 9.
  • Visit your local election office to register.

Miami-Dade Elections Department

Broward Elections Department

Monroe County Elections Department

TO REGISTER IN FLORIDA YOU MUST:

  • be a citizen of the United States
  • be a legal resident of both the State of Florida and of the county in which you seek to be registered
  • be 18 years old (you may pre-register if you are at least 16)
  • not be adjudicated mentally incapacitated with respect to voting in Florida or any other State, or if you have, you must first have your voting rights restored
  • not be a convicted felon, or if you are, you must first have your civil rights restored if they were taken away
  • swear or affirm the following: “I will protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Florida, that I am qualified to register as an elector under the Constitution and laws of the State of Florida, and that all information in this application is true.”

MILITARY AND OVERSEAS VOTERS

  • Active-duty military, their families, and voters living outside the US can register to vote and request their absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). To do so:
  • Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), or download a copy.
  • Send the application to your election official.
  • It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible. You can look up recommended mailing dates by country and region.
  • When your ballot arrives, read it carefully and follow the instructions to complete it and return it.
  • States begin mailing absentee ballots at least 45 days before Election Day. If you haven’t received your ballot by 30 days before Election Day, contact your local election office.
  • If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your election official first. Then:
  • You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Print, sign, and mail your FWAB to your local election office.
  • If you mail a FWAB and then receive your regular absentee ballot, you should complete and mail your absentee ballot also. Election officials will ensure that only one ballot is counted.
  • The Federal Voting Assistance Program – FVAP.gov offers additional information on military and overseas voting in Florida.

CHECK YOUR VOTER REGISTRATION STATUS

You can look up your voter registration record and verify that your information is correct using Florida’s voter registration lookup tool.

DATES AND DEADLINES

  • Election Day is Tuesday, November 6.
  • The deadline to register online is Tuesday, October 9.
  • The deadline for registering to vote by mail is Tuesday, October 9.
  • The deadline to register to vote in person is Tuesday, October 9.

 

OTHER HELPFUL LINKS

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