Monday, May 20

Early voting underway for presidential primary, municipal elections

The Republican presidential primary and municipal elections in Florida are less than two weeks away.


Only registered Republican voters can vote in the primary. There will be no Democratic presidential primary in Florida this year.

Saturday was the first day to vote early in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties.

During early voting, you can vote at any early voting location. But on Election Day, March 19, voters must vote at their precinct.


For voters at the Palm Beach Gardens Branch Library, many said they were voting early to get their voices heard and beat the lines on Election Day.


I think its more important than ever to get out there and express your opinions so you can have an impact, Carlos Tabernilla said.

Marilyn Pennisi said the process was quick and convenient.

“It was easy,” Pennisi said. I did have an appointment, but I was in and out within two minutes.


There are seven candidates on the GOP presidential ballot. All seven are valid candidates and a vote for that candidate is a valid vote.

“None of them have actually withdrawn from the race, said Wendy Sartory Link, Palm Beach County supervisor of elections. Many of them have reportedly suspended their campaigns, some have even endorsed others. But they are still valid candidates because they did not fill out their withdrawal paperwork. So a vote for those candidates will still count.”

Under Florida law, if a candidate didn’t formally withdraw before Dec. 12, the candidate’s name must remain on the presidential preference primary election ballot.

Sartory Link said she hopes all voters go out and exercise their civic duty.

All the municipalities that we have and those annexations, those are affecting your everyday life, said Sartory Link. So, its very important that everybody gets out to vote, especially in those municipal elections.

Early voting ends March 16 or March 17, depending on your county. You will need a valid photo and signature ID to vote. Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In Palm Beach County there are 327,128 registered Democrats, 271,906 Republicans and 264,972 others.

Through 12:30 p.m. Saturday, there are 503,749 eligible voters with 41,589 casting ballots in early voting or absentee for an 8.21% turnout.

Information on early voting can be found on the county elections website.

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