MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Monday is the last day to register to vote or change voter registration information for Floridians planning to cast ballots in the August primary.
“If you’re somebody who’s been thinking about registering but has quite done it yet it’s the deadline today,” said Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections Christina White.READ MORE: Parkland dad Manuel Oliver "very angry" following Texas elementary school shooting
Since Florida is a closed primary state, only voters who are registered members of political parties can vote for respective party candidates or nominees during a primary election.
Those wishing to vote, and who are eligible, must register at least 29 days before an election to participate in it.
That July 20 is the last day to sign up or change party affiliation in order to cast a ballot in the upcoming Florida Primary Election which is August 18.
The easiest way to register to vote is to do it online at RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov.
White said the interest in early voting is very high.
“We’re at almost 400-thousand people who have requested a Vote by Mail ballot already for this election and that is certainly historic going into a primary election,” she said.
Miami-Dade sent out 385,000 Vote by mail ballots for the primary. Two years ago, a total of 129-thousand voted by mail. In Broward, they’re seeing big numbers too.
“We’re all living through the virus. People who are feeling they don’t want to vote in person are requesting Vote by Mail ballots, either to actually vote or to use it as an insurance policy in case they think they don’t want to vote in person as we edge closer to Election Day on August 18th,” said Broward Supervisor of Elections Peter Antonacci.
In Broward, 360,000 Vote by Mail ballots have gone went out, compared to 170-thousand 2 years ago.
Charles Zelden, a professor of history and political science at Nova Southeastern University, said the Covid-19 pandemic and the “Black Lives Matter” movement are raising interest in this primary.
“The issues at hand in this election, in general, really do matter in terms of opening of schools, in terms of your public safety, in terms of attitudes toward the police,” he said.
Even though President Trump is not on the ballot, Zelden said he’s on the minds of voters.
“Are you voting for someone because they’re a big fan of Donald Trump or they are a blunt opponent of Donald Trump? Donald Trump has managed to make it all about himself,” he said.
William Bromley is a registered voter in Broward. He isn’t missing his chance to have his voice heard.
“It starts at the local level,” he said. “If we want to create change and we want to get past this virus, it starts at the local level with hiring and voting in the right people for the jobs that need to be done.”
EARLY VOTINGREAD MORE: 18 children, 2 adults killed after shooter opens fire at Texas elementary school
State law requires early voting to be held for at least eight days.
In Miami-Dade, early voting for the Primary Election runs from August 3 through August 16.
Click here to view the schedule, times, and locations in Miami-Dade
In Broward County, early voting takes place August 8 through August 16.
Click here to view schedule, times, and locations in Broward County.
In Monroe County, early voting takes place August 3 through August 15.
Click here to view schedule, times, and locations in Monroe County.
Any registered voter in Florida can choose to vote-by-mail.
The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot for the Primary Election is Saturday, August 8 by 5 p.m.
Your county’s Supervisor of Elections must receive the ballot by 7 p.m. on Election Day, August 18.
The U.S. Post Office suggests sending your ballot at least a week before the deadline to make sure it gets delivered on time.
You can also drop it off at your county’s Supervisor of Elections office.
Florida has 13.7 million registered voters.
Last month, Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee issued assurances about the state’s absentee-ballot process.
“Our state, I believe, is very well-situated to have a secure and effective vote-by-mail process,” Lee told members of the Economic Club of Florida in Tallahassee.MORE NEWS: Florida lawmakers tee up property insurance changes
The General Election deadline is October 5, for Election Day on November 3.