Leon County Supervisor of Elections announces busy election cycle

Mark Earley

Special to the Outlook

Like in most states around the country, voters in Leon County will have a busy election cycle, beginning in March.

Mark S. Earley, Supervisor of Elections for Leon County, last Thursday announced the start of the 2024 Election Cycle. 

“2024 is going to be busy election year,” said Earley. “Since it is a presidential election year, we will have three elections and busier polling sites than in other years. That’s why I encourage all voters to be election ready by checking your voter registration to make sure that your information is up to date. And if you are not yet registered to vote, now is the perfect time to do so.”

The 2024 Election Cycle starts with a meeting of the Leon County Canvassing Board. The Canvassing Board is a statutorily designated group of local elected officials who oversee important parts of the election. The Canvassing Board set its meeting dates for the rest of 2024 at a meeting last Friday. The board also set guidelines for the acceptance of vote-by-mail, early voting, and Election Day ballots, adopt post-election audit and recount procedures, and conduct other business. All Canvassing Board meetings are open to the public.

The first 2024 election is the March 19 Presidential Preference Primary Election (PPP). The PPP is set in Florida law as the mechanism by which Florida political parties apportion their state delegates for the presidential nominating process. Per Florida law, the state parties designate to the Secretary of State who will appear on their ballots in the PPP. 

The Republican Party of Florida submitted a slate with eight candidates, one of whom withdrew before the deadline. The Florida Democratic Party submitted a slate consisting of their incumbent, who is unopposed in the Florida PPP. No other parties submitted a slate of candidates. Because of this, only voters registered with the Republican Party can vote in the PPP. 

Since the PPP is a partisan election, voters can only vote for their choice based on their political party affiliation. The deadline for voters to change their party affiliation, or to register to vote in the PPP, is Feb. 20.

Some party candidates for president have reportedly suspended or ended their presidential campaigns. If a candidate did not submit a formal withdrawal before Florida’s Dec. 12 withdrawal deadline, the candidate nominee’s name must remain on the PPP ballot. A vote cast for any candidate nominee appearing on the ballot will count as a vote for that candidate.

The next election is the Aug. 20 Primary Election. The Primary Election is how voters select state and local candidates to advance to the November General Election. Both partisan and nonpartisan races appear on the Primary Ballot, so all voters will have an opportunity to vote in the Primary Election. Importantly, some races will be decided in the Primary Election, so this is not an election to miss. The deadline to register or change party affiliation for the Primary is July 22.

The last scheduled election in 2024 is the Nov. 5 General Election. In the General Election, the party nominees from the Primary Election compete against each other, along with any candidates who have no party affiliation. Voters can vote for any candidate, regardless of party affiliation. Whichever candidate receives the most votes in each contest is the winner and takes office after the election. 

In addition to candidates, the General Election often includes proposed amendments to the Florida Constitution. The deadline for voters to register to vote for the General Election is Oct. 7.

Voters can register to vote or update an existing registration at RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov and can check their voter registration status or request a vote-by-mail ballot at LeonVotes.gov. Voters with questions are encouraged to contact the Supervisor of Elections Office by email at Vote@LeonVotes.gov, or by phone at (850) 606-8683, Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.


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