Dear Readers,

The coronavirus pandemic has caused widespread disruption to the lives of everyone in Tampa Bay and to so many businesses in our community. Here at the Tampa Bay Times, we continue to provide free, up-to-date information at as a public service. But we need your help. Please consider supporting us by subscribing or donating, and by sharing our work. Thank you.

  1. Florida Politics
  2. /
  3. The Buzz

Today is the deadline to register to vote in Florida’s presidential preference primary

Florida is a closed primary state, so only registered Republicans and Democrats can vote in the presidential preference primary.
Linda Hadley, 57, from St. Petersburg, shows off her "I registered to vote today" sticker after filling out her paper work and registering to vote for her very first time at the Pinellas County Election Services, 501 1st Ave N, on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 in St. Petersburg. When asked why she has decided to register to vote now for her first time Hadley said, "Because I'm desperate to try to get the one that's in the White House out now." Hadley said, "I feel like I'm trying to save the country. It's more important now than ever." Hadley says she is currently supporting Mayor Pete or Bernie. [DIRK SHADD | Times]

Florida voters who want a say in the presidential preference primary on March 17 must be registered to vote as either a Republican or Democrat by the end of today.

Because Florida is a closed primary state, only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican presidential primary, and only registered Democrats can vote in the Democratic presidential primary.

However, some local nonpartisan elections may be held on the same day as the presidential primary. Any registered voters in those area, regardless of party affiliation, can vote in those elections. Check with your local supervisor of elections office for more information.

To register, change your party affiliation or check your registration status, you can go to the state’s official online site at and register before midnight.

If you plan to mail in your registration, it must be postmarked by Feb. 18 for you to be eligible to vote in the March 17 elections.

Related: Want to help pick the presidential nominee? There's still time to register

For more information, visit the Florida Division of Elections website or your local supervisor of elections.

Related: This Florida elections office was attacked by ransomware in 2016. We’re just hearing about it.
Related: The Republican Party asked Florida tax collectors for millions of email addresses. Why?