Voter registration/party change deadline nearing for Aug. 18 Primary

Deadline is July 20

This is the top of the Supervisor of Elections Office webpage where voters can update information. Image courtesy Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office

The last day to register to be eligible to vote in the Aug. 18 Primary Election or to change party affiliation for that election will be Monday, July 20, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner is reminding county residents.

Turner recommends that voters confirm before the July 20 deadline that they are registered to vote and that their voter registration information is current, a news release says. A voter may check his or her voter eligibility at “Just click on ‘Voter Information’ in the main menu and then on ‘Voter Lookup’ and follow the easy instructions,” the release adds.

New paper voter registration applications and applications for party changes must be completed, signed and returned in person to an elections office or postmarked by the July 20 deadline, the release emphasizes. Applications submitted electronically before midnight on July 20 through also will be accepted, the release adds.

A voter who has moved or changed his or her name, or those who need to update their signatures since the last election, also may complete a voter registration application to update voter records.

Voter registration applications are available at the elections offices in Sarasota, Venice and North Port; and at public libraries, military recruitment offices, and public assistance offices, the release notes. Additionally, they may be downloaded at

Applications also may be submitted through any driver’s license or tax collector’s office that issues Florida driver licenses or Florida ID cards, the release says.

Further, Turner is reminding voters that Florida is a closed primary state, which means only voters who are registered with political party affiliation may vote in their party’s primary. Voters who are registered with minor or no party affiliation may vote only in non-partisan and universal primary contests, the release points out. “A universal primary contest is held when all the candidates for an office are of the same party and the winner will have no opposition in the general election,” the release explains.

“There is something for everyone on the Aug. 18 ballot,” Turner noted in the release, “including non-partisan races for School Board members in Districts 2 and 3 and a pair of universal primary contests.”

One universal primary contest that will appear on all ballots is for the office of Sarasota County sheriff. The other is for state representative in House District 70, which will appear on all ballots of voters who reside in that district, regardless of party affiliation, the release notes.

“In addition, voters who reside in the cities of Sarasota and North Port will have municipal races on their ballots,” Turner said in the release.

For more information or assistance, voters may call the Supervisor of Elections office at 941-861-8619 or visit the website.