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Independent In Florida? Know Election Law!

Leading up to Independence Day, it seems appropriate to speak about INDEPENDENCE. What’s not to love? It’s a holiday! It’s celebrations and fabulous parades, not to mention a worthy and noble concept! Independence is seen as the ability to be self-directed in your thinking and actions. People who are independent make autonomous decisions in difficult circumstances. Most will agree these are concepts, skills and ideas worth honing.

Considering the high value we place on independence it’s not surprising the term often indicates a positive. And yet, the very essence of independent thinking demands that we analyze, and objectively review a concept or an issue.

“Independent” a poor option for voters in Florida In Florida over a third of voters consider it a badge of honor to proclaim “I am an independent” – indicating they are not “affiliated” with a “major political party” (i.e. Democrats or Republican) on their voter registration. Unfortunately, in the sunshine state, “No Party Affiliated” voters (NPAs), who made that choice might have fallen prey to the seduction the word independence carries.

No Party Affiliation. No Vote. No Independence. “Independents” in Florida opt to only stand by while other voters chose partisan candidates for them. Florida election law stipulates ONLY voters, who have a party affiliation can
participate in the partisan Primary Election. When it’s time to choose the candidates most suited to represent THEM in Florida’s 2 party closed primary system, “independents” are losing out. They proudly forfeit their right to participate in the very act that determines the party representatives they can vote for in the General Election in November. It’s the law. It’s not personal. It’s just election mechanics. As of June 22nd 1,513,356 eligible citizens were
registered vote in Miami-Dade County. 480,340 of them have no party affiliation – or voice – on August 23rd to select qualified representatives. That’s 480,340 voters who hand over their choices to others, and a far cry from independence.

More votes means more accurate representation of “We The People” Voters often feel deeply emotional about their party affiliation. In Florida it is a critical part of election mechanics. The more people vote, the larger the pool of voters, the broader and more accurate the representation. Be Election Ready – and consider to update your party
affiliation if you are registered to vote in Florida. Go to GoVoteMiami.org to update your voter registration.

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