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The Importance of Voting in Primary Elections


In Florida, final decisions are often made in the primary, yet in the last primary, only 31% of Manatee County voters voted, and the number has been as low as 28% in recent years.

In the last primary, two board of county commission races (District 4 and at-large District 6) were decided by only a small number of county Republicans, due to write-in candidates closing the primary race to voters registered Democrat and No Party Affiliated.

When only one party is represented in a primary, the race is open to all voters, but a write-in candidate closes the primary to only voters in the represented party.

This year, the Manatee County primary is the final election for the Supervisor of Elections (SoE) and Property Appraiser. In every election the School Board election is final in the primary; this year there are School Board elections in District 1 and 3. T

he SoE race is open only to Republican voters due to a write-in candidates submission. All voters can vote in the Property Appraiser election; there are only two Republican candidates and no write-in candidate.

The school board race is not party-affiliated, so all Manatee County voters in Districts 1 and 3 can cast their vote for their preferred school board member, but only in the primary. As you can see, it's very important to understand who is running and how and when the position will be decided.

There have been changes in voting laws since the last election that may affect you. For example, all previous requests for Vote-By-Mail Ballots were terminated on December 31, 2022; to receive a Vote-By-Mail Ballot in 2024, you must have made a new request in either 2023 or 2024 (see details below).

There are almost 80,000 Manatee County voters who requested to Vote-By-Mail in 2020 who have not made their new request. In addition, officials use post office information to update voter rolls and remove inactive voters so it is critical that you check your status before every election.

Make sure your voice is heard, make a voting plan, and vote.

Check your Registration and/or Register to Vote

It only takes minutes to register, to update, or to check your registration. Use this easy, online tool provided by the state of Florida.

Manatee County residents can click HERE if you wish to:

  • Verify where to vote on primary or general election day
  • Check details of upcoming elections
  • Request an absentee/mail ballot
  • Review/update your voter registration information
  • Check the status of your vote-by-mail ballot
  • Review your voting activity for the past 12 months
  • Check your voter status and/or your vote by mail

Registration Deadlines

Florida’s deadline for registering to vote in the 2024 primary is Monday, July 22nd for voting on August 20th. Vote-By-Mail requests for the primary must be made by August 8th. The registration deadline for the November 5th general election is Monday, Oct 7th. You can check your registration to ensure you're correctly registered in Florida!

Learn about your Early Voting Options

Early voting will be available in Manatee County from Saturday, August 10 to Saturday August 17th from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM each day. You can also turn in a Vote-By-Mail Ballot at any early voting location. The early voting locations are:

  • Braden River Library
  • GT Bray Park
  • Lakewood Ranch Library
  • Lakewood Ranch Town Hall
  • Palmetto Library
  • Parrish Fire Dist Station #2
  • Rocky Bluff Library
  • Supervisor of Elections Office

Renew or initiate your request for a Vote-By-Mail Ballot

All previous requests for Vote-By-Mail Ballots were terminated on December 31, 2022; to receive a Vote-By-Mail Ballot in 2024 you must have made a new request in either 2023 or 2024. For this year’s primary, your request must be made by August 8th. You can make your new request by:

Vote-By-Mail Ballots must be physically received in the Supervisor of Elections office by 7PM on primary or general election day, so voters must allow for processing time through the postal service. Alternatively, voters can turn in a Vote-By-Mail Ballot at Early Voting locations.

If you register with Ballot Trax, the service will notify you when your mail-in ballot is mailed, received, and counted. You can receive the notifications by text, email, and/or phone call.

Explore your Day-Of Voting Options

Find out where you can vote in person, what voting machines are used, and what you need to bring with you on Election Day by entering your address here.

Research Candidates

Learn where candidates running for office in your area stand on the issues, and about the ballot measures on your ballot by checking out our voters' guide. You can hear directly from the candidates before you cast your vote! Vote411 voters guide candidate information will be live in mid-July.

Share your Plans!

Tell your friends and family what you learned in the process of making your voting plan and encourage them to make their own. Then, cast your ballot and let your voice be heard!


August 20, 2024 Primary Election

  • Voter Registration Deadline: Monday, July 22, 2024
  • Deadline to request a Vote by Mail ballot to be mailed: Thursday, August 8, 2024 at 5:00 pm
  • Early Voting: Saturday, August 10, 2024 through Saturday, August 17, 2024, 8:30 am to 6:00 pm daily Click here for Early Voting Locations
  • Deadline for Vote by Mail ballot to be received by the Supervisor of Elections: Tuesday, August 20, 2024 by 7:00 pm
  • Election day: Tuesday, August 20, 2024  Polls open 7:00 am - Polls Close 7:00 pm

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3 comments on this item

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  • kmskepton

    And reading the junk in the mailbox is NOT research. Those are largely paid for by the developer-backed candidates, along with the large signs all over town. Also, visit the https://www.votemanatee.com/Candidate-Information/Local-Candidates-Committees website to see how much the candidates have in their campaign coffers. Often, though not always, the ones with much larger amounts are developer-backed. Vote KRUSE for District 7 and FARRINGTON for SOE.

    Wednesday, July 10 Report this

  • FrstWordDr

    As a registered democrat, I am so appalled by the shenanigans of the write in option, that my husband and I have temporarily changed our party affiliation to republican for the primary elections. Any democrat who is equally frustrated, can do the same. It's very easy to do on the SOE website and you can change it back just as easily after August.

    Wednesday, July 10 Report this

  • Hamwoman

    I also changed my party affiliation so I can vote in the Republican Primary. I hope more Democrats and Independents will do this.

    Wednesday, July 10 Report this