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Quick Facts - Primary Election

What is the Primary Election?

The 2018 Primary Election is held 10 weeks before the General Election. In the Primary Election, voters registered with one of Florida’s political parties express their preference for the candidates they would like to see representing their party on the General Election ballot in November. In addition, all voters, regardless of party affiliation, may vote in nonpartisan races on the ballot (such as school boards).

When is the Primary Election?

Florida’s Primary Election is August 28, 2018. Eligible voters can vote-by-mail, vote during early voting or vote at the polls on Election Day.

Who can vote in the Primary Election?

Florida is a closed primary state. Only voters who are registered members of political parties may vote for respective candidates for an office in a primary election.

However, there are times when all registered voters can vote in a primary election, regardless of which political party they are registered with or even if they are registered without party affiliation:

  1. If all the candidates for an office have the same party affiliation and the winner of the primary election will not face any opposition in the general election, then all registered voters can vote for any of the candidates for that office in the primary election.
  2. If races for nonpartisan (i.e. free from party affiliation) judicial and school board offices, nonpartisan special districts or referendum questions are on the primary election ballot, then all registered voters, including those without party affiliation are entitled to vote those races on the ballot.

When is the deadline to register to vote or update my party affiliation for the Primary Election?

The registration deadline for the 2018 Primary Election is Monday, July 30, 2018. Voter registration applications submitted electronically by July 30 through and voter registration applications sent by mail that are post-marked by July 30 will be accepted.

What candidates and races will be on my Primary Ballot?

For specific information about what will be on your ballot, refer to your county Supervisor of Elections’ website or contact your county Supervisor of Elections office to obtain a sample ballot.

How can I vote in the Primary Election?

Floridians have several options to exercise their right to vote: vote-by-mail, early voting or voting at the polls on Election Day.


Vote-by-mail refers to voting a ballot received by mail or picked up by, or for, a voter. The deadline to ask for a ballot to be mailed is 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 22. A voter may pick up a vote-by-mail ballot from the office of their Supervisor of Elections through the day before the election or, if an emergency exists, on the day of the election. Vote-by-mail ballots must be received by the Supervisor of Elections’ office no later than 7:00 p.m. on Election Day in order to be canvassed and counted.

Early Voting

Early voting is defined as “casting a ballot in person prior to Election Day at a location designated by the Supervisor of Elections.” The voter uses the same type of voting equipment that is used at the polls on Election Day. All 67 Florida counties will be offering early voting from August 18 – August 25. In addition, each county Supervisor of Elections may at his or her own discretion, offer additional days of early voting. Contact your county Supervisor of Elections for more information.

Election Day Voting

On Election Day, polls will be open statewide from 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Any voters waiting in line at 7:00 p.m. will have the opportunity to cast a ballot. If you do not know where your polling place is, contact your county Supervisor of Elections. You can also find your precinct and polling place on your county Supervisor of Elections’ website or by using the Check Your Voter Status webpage.

What kinds of ID are accepted at the Polling Place?

According to Florida law, whether during early voting or on Election Day, voters will be asked to provide a current and valid photo ID at the polls. Any one of the following 12 IDs will be accepted:

  • Florida driver’s license
  • Florida identification card issued by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
  • United States passport
  • Debit or credit card
  • Military identification
  • Student identification
  • Retirement center identification
  • Neighborhood association identification
  • Public assistance identification
  • Veteran health identification card issued by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • License to carry a concealed weapon or firearm pursuant to s. 790.06 F.S.
  • Employee identification card issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the federal government, the state, a county or a municipality.

If your photo ID does not include your signature, you will be asked to provide another ID that has your signature. If you do not bring a proper ID, you can still vote a provisional ballot. As long as you are eligible and voted in the proper precinct, your provisional ballot will count provided the signature on your provisional ballot matches the signature in your registration record.