Have you voted yet in the August Primary Elections?
Across the state of Florida, registered voters are currently voting in the August Primary Elections. Primary elections have a major impact on our local and national community, affecting issues ranging from taxes and education to environment and healthcare. These elections consist of voting for local non-partisan races (such as city commission, school board, and judicial races), and various city or county ballot initiatives (such as Volusia County’s proposed half-cent sales tax for public schools). These elections also include the option for voters who are registered with a political party to vote in that party’s selection of candidates for positions such as Governor and House of Representatives – allowing you the chance to help determine the direction of your party.
If you are a registered voter but have not yet voted already, you still have time to do so before the deadline on Tuesday, Aug. 26 at 7 p.m.:
- Absentee Ballot: If you requested an Absentee Ballot for your state’s election, you should have already received it in the mail. Make sure to fill it out, then send it back to your county’s Supervisor of Elections by this Friday.
- Early Voting: If you are registered in Volusia County, you can do Early Voting at the DeLand Department of Elections office located at 120 W. New York Ave. (the building across from Tony’s Pizza with the big green clocktower) between 7am and 7pm until this Saturday the 23rd. Bring identification that includes your full legal name, photo and your signature (such as a state-issued Photo ID, like a driver’s license) in order to vote.
- Election Day Voting: Registered voters who did not vote via an absentee ballot or by Early Voting can go to their polling location on Election Day (Tuesday August 26th) between 7am and 7pm in order to vote. Stetson students who registered using their on-campus address (421 N. Woodland Blvd. Unit ####) will vote at Precinct 218, which is Christ Community Church located at 402 W. New York Ave. in DeLand. Bring identification that includes your full legal name, photo and your signature (such as a state-issued Photo ID, like a driver’s license) in order to vote.
Elections can be challenging if you aren’t sure what issues and candidates will be on the ballot. Like any informed citizen, we expect our Hatters to do a bit of research before casting their ballots. Here are three excellent resources available for you:
- Sample Ballot: If you are a registered voter in Volusia County, click here to view your exact ballot, including all the races/candidates/issues that you will vote on. We encourage you to print out your sample ballot, fill it out with the notes and votes you want to make, then bring it with you when you vote!
- League of Women Voters of Volusia County: The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan, long-standing national organization that seeks to increase civic knowledge and participation in our political systems. Each year, they do a survey of all candidates for elected office. Survey results are posted on their website at http://goo.gl/MP2RJw. If you have questions about the candidates or issues, visit the LWV website to learn more.
- West Volusia Beacon: The West Volusia Beacon is a community newspaper of western Volusia County. Each year, they do a non-partisan survey of all candidates for elected office. Survey results are posted on their website at http://goo.gl/3lOMdB. If you have questions about the candidates or issues, visit the Beacon’s website to learn more.
Finally, if you are not yet registered to vote or if you would like to update your voter registration with your Stetson University address (421 N. Woodland Blvd. Unit ####, DeLand, FL 32723), go to www.stetson.turbovote.org now and do it for free! It only takes three minutes. Through TurboVote, Stetson students can:
- Register or update their registration
- Sign-up for an absentee ballot (particularly helpful for out-of-state students, so you have your ballot mailed to you at Stetson instead of having to drive home to vote)
- Get free text/email reminders about elections so that you never miss a deadline
If you have any questions about voting or registration, email Kevin Winchell, the Assistant Director of Community Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Center for Community Engagement at 609 Bert Fish Avenue (next to the Counseling Center and the Hollis Center pool).