Voter registration deadline approaches

Florida’s primary elections will be March 15, and the deadline for registering to vote or changing party affiliation is Feb 16. ORACLE PHOTO/ADAM MATHIEU

As political primary season moves forward, the deadline to register to vote is fast approaching.

According to the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, the deadline for all new registration applications, as well as changes in party affiliation, is Feb. 16. 

Florida holds closed primaries, which means only registered party members can vote in their chosen party’s primary. Voters registered as independent will not be allowed to vote in either primary, which will be held March 15.

Once registration is approved, the Supervisor of Elections will send a Voter Information Card which will show the voter’s precinct and other voting information.

Applications are available at the four Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections offices, driver’s license agencies, public libraries, Florida public assistance agencies, tax collector’s offices and 

Applications picked up at offices can be completed and submitted on location. Those printed from the website must be printed out and taken into one of the previously mentioned offices for signing and submission. has a portal to check voter registration portal under the My Registration Status tab. Additionally, the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections can be reached at 813-744-5900 to determine an individual’s status. 

There are three methods people may choose to vote, including Vote by Mail ballots, which will be sent out to voters in mid-February and must be submitted to the Supervisor of Elections Office by 7 p.m. on the day of the primary. 

Another method to utilize is the early voting process, which will be held from Feb. 29 to March 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at several early voting sites. The final option for voters is Election Day on March 15 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

To vote in a U.S. federal election, applicants must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years old and meet their state’s residency requirements. Out-of-state students must check with their home state’s requirements for residency. 

Those not registered to vote in Florida will not be allowed to vote in either primary.