Deadline to vote in 2016 Presidential Preference Primary nears

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- Voters looking to participate in the upcoming Presidential Preference Primary Election must register by Feb. 16.

Florida law requires residents must be registered to vote or make a party affiliation change 29 days before an election.

“Most people aren’t aware that Florida is a closed primary state and that you have to be registered with the¬†party to vote for that candidate,” said Vicki Collins, supervisor of elections in Lee County.

There are 12 states in the country that use a strict, closed primary process and Florida is one of them.

Melinda Brown accompanied her son Cayman Brown, who just turned 18, to the election office in downtown Fort Myers on Friday so he could get registered to vote in the primary.

“I’m really glad we’ve done our homework as far as politics goes,” said Melinda Brown. “He hasn’t missed a debate,¬†went and saw Ben Carson when he was here, and he’s very interested in it.”

Collins says registering isn’t as complicated as people think, “they’re used to things being a lot more difficult and it’s merely a matter of filling out an application and returning it to our office.”

To register to vote, change your party affiliation, or find polling locations, visit:

Early voting in Florida for the primary will take place Saturday, March 5 through Saturday, March 12.

The 2016 Presidential Preference Primary takes place March 15.

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