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August 14, 2020   941.861.8606
Media Alert    

August 18 primary: A guide to what, when and how

SARASOTA, FL - Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner is offering the following information to help ensure a smooth voting experience for county voters.

Remember: Florida is a closed primary state. This means that Democratic and Republican voters may only vote the ballot of the political party in which they are registered. Voters who are registered without party affiliation or with minor party affiliation will be able to vote a non-partisan ballot.

Universal Primary Contest (UPC) - There are two universal primary contests in this election. A UPC is held when all candidates for an office are of the same party affiliation and the winner will have no opposition in the general election. All county voters, regardless of party affiliation, will be able to vote in the UPC for Sheriff. All voters who reside in State House District 70, regardless of party affiliation, will be able to vote in that UPC.

Non-partisan races - Non-partisan races in this election include School Board Districts 2 and 3, in which all county voters may vote; City of North Port Commission Seats 1 and 2, in which all North Port voters may vote, and City of Sarasota Commission Districts 2 and 3, in which voters living within District 2 or 3 may vote.

Sample ballots have been mailed to all eligible voters who did not request a vote-by-mail ballot for the August 18 primary. All voters may view or download their sample ballot at .

Early voting, which began on Saturday, August 8, will continue through Sunday, August 16, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily at the three elections offices in Sarasota, North Port and Venice and at the Sarasota Square Mall and the North Sarasota Library. Find more information at .

If you are voting by mail, please read closely and follow the instructions on your vote-by-mail ballot. Voted mail ballots must be received in the elections office by 7 p.m. election night to be counted, the voter’s certificate on the return envelope must be signed by the voter and the signature should match the voter’s signature on file in the elections office. The deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot be mailed to you for the primary election was 5 p.m., Saturday, August 8.

Vote-by-mail ballots may be returned by mail or in person to any elections office during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until 7 p.m. on election night, August 18). Also, during early voting (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. now through Sunday, August 16), vote-by-mail ballots may be dropped into secure vote-by-mail ballot drop boxes located inside all early voting sites, or at drive-thru, drop-off points located outside the three elections offices. Vote-by-mail ballots should not be returned to an election day polling place.

On election day, you must vote in your assigned polling location. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Polling locations can be found on your sample ballot, your Voter Information Card and on the elections website.

Seventeen election day polling places have been temporarily moved to new locations for the primary due to Coronavirus concerns. Change notices have been mailed to all affected voters and the changes are posted at .

We are implementing increased safety measures in all Sarasota County polling places to protect poll workers and the voting public. These include providing face masks or face shields to our poll workers and staff, routinely sanitizing surfaces and equipment, and practicing social distancing.

Finally, whether voting early or at the polls on election day, please mark your ballot according to the printed instructions to ensure your choices are recorded accurately and counted. If you make a mistake, ask a poll worker or call the elections office at 941.861.8618 for a replacement ballot.

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