Orange County, FL – Summer 2022. People are getting out more and vacationing. High rent costs have caused many people to move frequently. It’s easy to get distracted and miss key dates regarding voting.
In Florida, the deadline to REGISTER for an upcoming election is 29 days. When is the upcoming election? Glad you asked! It’s August 23 and it’s a Primary Election in which voters will mainly select representatives for the county commission, school board, various judge positions along with key state and Congressional offices.
That makes July 25 the DEADLINE to register or update your registration, if you want to vote in the election. July 25 is also the deadline if you want to select a party affiliation or if you want to switch your party affiliation. While most of the county races for public office are non-partisan or non-party specific, all of the state and national public offices are.
Locally, voters are looking at either keeping County Mayor Jerry Demings or selecting someone new. Same thing with School Board Chair Teresa Jacobs, for example. There are two other people running against her, according to the election’s office website.
If you are registered to vote in Orange County, you should have already received a notice of election letter from the supervisor of elections office. If you have moved, of course, you probably didn’t get it. Don’t sleep. Call the elections right away to find out what YOU need to do to be able to vote in the upcoming election.
If ever there was a time to vote, even for local races, it is now! Why? In Florida, the legislature passed Senate Bill 90, which many in the political world view as another attempt to suppress people’s vote.
How? Well, go to the county’s elections webpage and see the changes that have been made when it’s been reported by election officials that there WAS NO widespread voter fraud in the state in the past 2020 Presidential Election. Still, the majority Republican held Florida legislature made significant changes to the way people vote in the state. And although the bill has been challenged in court, it is still in place and voters will need to take extra care to make sure they are ready to vote in order to vote with ease on or before election day.
One key thing change has to do with early voting and what we know as drop boxes. They are now called Secure Ballot Intake Stations and the requirement is that the stations be manned when they are opened during early voting hours, according to election officials. Election supervisors can be heavily fined if the stations are not manned. So you see how valuable your VOTE IS. Also, it’s so important to research candidates and elect servant leaders whose track record most align with your core values.
Takeaways: Make sure you read over the notice of election letter from the elections office. Make sure you are registered to vote where you currently live. Florida does not allow same day registration (You can’t register to vote on election day so you have to be properly registered.) Also, if you plan to vote by mail, make sure to CALL the elections office to get instructions on verifying your signature and that your identification will still work.
This is a time we all need to be our brothers and sisters’ keepers, especially if those persons are seniors and may need a little help with verifying their registration. In most cases, they have lived in their communities for a long time and have earned the right to have their voices heard through their counted VOTE.
Vote by mail ballots will go out mid-July and early voting will start two weeks before election day, according to election officials.
For other details about the upcoming election and the candidates, call the Orange County Supervisor of Elections Office at (407) 836-2070 or visit the website: http://www.ocfelections.gov
Trish Marshall, firstname.lastname@example.org