By JOE MORGAN
Joe Morgan, Supervisor of Elections for Wakulla County, announces the start of the 2024 Election Cyle with the Presidential Preference Primary Election on March 19, 2024.
What is the Presidential Preference Primary (PPP)? This election is part of the presidential nominating process for Florida’s two major political parties. Voters registered in either of these major political parties go the polls and choose their preferred candidate by secret ballot. Out of all the candidates, the voter is choosing the candidate they want to represent their party on the general election ballot in November. It’s important to note that Florida’s presidential preference primary isn’t a direct election; that is, voters do not select the party’s nominee directly. Voters will be voting for a particular candidate (the “preference”), and based on the results of the vote, the state party will award delegates and these delegates vote to formally select a candidate as the presidential nominee at the national convention. The 2024 Republican National Convention will be held in the City of Milwaukee in July of 2024. The 2024 Democratic National Convention will be held in Chicago in August of 2024. For this upcoming March 19th election, only one of Florida’s two major parties has more than one candidate and that is the Republican Party. Therefore, the only party participating in this Florida Presidential Preference Primary is the Republican Party. So, what does that mean? Since Florida is a closed-primary state, you must be registered as a Republican to be eligible to vote in the Presidential Preference Primary on March 19th. Eligible voters can vote by mail, by voting early, or by voting at the polls on Election Day. Why Should I Vote in the PPP? Primaries and caucuses are how we choose who runs for president. The person that earns the most votes and support from all the primaries and caucuses goes on to become the party’s nominee in the general election. Turnout is usually low in these primaries, which means voters leave the choice of presidential nominees to a smaller percentage of their citizens. “In 2020, the voter turnout in Wakulla County was only 26.85% and, in 2016, only 45.67% of the eligible voters in Wakulla County turned out to vote,” said Supervisor Morgan. How do I get Election Ready? Make sure you are properly registered to vote. Visit the Supervisor of Election’s website and click on the “CHECK MY STATUS” icon. This will show your name, address, party affiliation and where your polling place is.
“Since Wakulla County schools will be on spring break during this election, consider requesting a vote by mail ballot if you will be out of town,” said Supervisor Morgan.
Here are some important dates to keep in mind so you don’t miss your chance to vote!
- FEBRUARY 20 deadline to register to vote or update your party affiliation for the March 19th election.
- MARCH 9-16 Early Voting is open in our two locations, Riversink Fire Station, and the Supervisor of Election’s Main Office. Voting hours are from 8am-6pm.
- MARCH 7 Last Day to request a ballot to be mailed to you.
- MARCH 19 Election Day at your polling site from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Voters with questions are encouraged to contact the Supervisor of Elections Office by email at email@example.com, or by phone at 850-926-7575, weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Joe Morgan is Wakulla County’s Supervisor of Elections.