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Understanding the Presidential Preference Primary

We are less than two months from the March 19 Presidential Preference Primary (PPP). For even the most seasoned voters, the PPP can be a little mysterious. For starters, it only occurs once every four years. In addition, voters need to understand that Florida is a closed primary state. So, to help demystify the PPP, we've created the following primer.

Florida is one of approximately a dozen states that hold closed primaries. That means only voters who are registered members of Florida’s two major political parties may vote for respective party candidates. Since the state Democratic Party already selected its candidate for the party’s nomination for president, only the Republican Party will hold a statewide presidential primary. To vote in it, you must be a registered Republican by the voter registration deadline on February 20.  

Poll worker stands at the ready as voters cast their ballots

A poll worker stands ready to assist as voters cast their ballots.

Next, you need to determine how you want to vote in the PPP. If it’s by mail (absentee), you need to request a vote-by-mail ballot by 5 p.m. on March 7. If you are voting early in person or on election day, you should visit for a list of early voting sites or to review your polling location.

Finally, if you are a registered Republican voter, you will receive a sample ballot in your mailbox. On the sample ballot you will notice the names of some presidential candidates who have suspended their campaigns. Rest assured, it’s not a mistake. In Florida, presidential candidates had until December 12, 2023 to submit a formal withdrawal. If they did not do that, their name must remain on the PPP ballot per F.S. 103.101(3). A vote cast for any candidate appearing on the ballot will count as a vote for that candidate.

If this seems a lot to keep track of, don’t worry. We have everything you need to know about the PPPand other 2024 electionsat All you need to do is get election ready and vote.


Help America Vote Day

Tuesday, January 30 is Help America Vote Day, a day dedicated to activating the nation’s voters. What will be your action? Will you register to vote? Will you make a plan to vote in 2024? Perhaps you will decide to support your community by becoming a poll worker. How ever you celebrate Help America Vote Day, be sure to make it a day of action – for you, your family and your friends!

A graphic of poll worker and voters with the title Help American Vote Day

Registered Voters (as of 1/25/24)

The number of registered voters in Sarasota County as of January 24 2024
Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner

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