The countdown to the Presidential election is only four weeks away, but there is another deadline that’s drawing even closer.  Florida’s deadline to register to vote is just around the corner. October 5 is the last day to sign up and participate in this year’s presidential election. Are you registered to vote? Did you know it’s your civic duty?

The United States, which is the longest-standing democracy in the world, according to the World Economic Forum, continues to uphold the values inscribed in its Constitution. The U.S. Constitution gives power to the people and states that the government must serve its citizens. Citizens have a right to voice their opinion about issues and select their leaders.

Being an Active Citizen

“It sounds like a cliché, but it is our civic duty to vote,” says Kevin Walsh, senior professor, History and Political Science at Broward College. “Democracy is a participatory sport, not a spectator sport. Citizens have to be involved in order to hold our leaders accountable.”

Voting is perhaps the simplest, yet most important, step in democracy. Being an active citizen that participates and fulfills their civic duty is crucial in the continuity of democracy and freedom.

The 2020 Election

A poll conducted by the Pew Research Center during July and August of 2020 showed that 79 percent of registered voters considered the economy the top issue in determining how they would vote. Healthcare, coronavirus, violent crime, and foreign policy complete the top five crucial topics among the general voting population.

“At this point, I believe that emotions, feelings, and attitudes about the two candidates will likely be what gets people to vote or not,” explains Walsh. “And the informed voters have already made up their minds at this point and were going to vote regardless.”

Florida on the National Stage - Your Vote Matters

Florida is considered a swing state and has often been the deciding factor in national elections. Perhaps one of the most recent and memorable cases was the 2000 presidential election. “George Bush won Florida by 537 votes. Out of the millions cast, a mere 537 votes the other way could have changed the election outcome and history. Tens of thousands of Floridians didn’t vote in that particular election,” says Walsh. 

When people say a vote could make a huge difference, this is often the example used to prove the point. Most often than not, political races in Florida are very close, with only a few thousand votes deciding the winner.

Just like participating in the Census, casting your ballot this November is crucial to making your voice and opinion count. Being an active citizen, holding leaders accountable, and assuring that your needs are met by the people elected to serve you, as an individual, and the nation as a whole, is your duty.

Who is Eligible to Vote?

To register to vote, you must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States of America;
  • Be a legal resident of Florida;
  • Be a legal resident of the county in which you seek to be registered;
  • Not be a person who has been adjudicated mentally incapacitated with respect to voting in Florida or any other state without having the right to vote restored; and,
  • Not be a person convicted of a felony without having your right to vote restored.

Don’t miss the deadline. Register to vote today!

The deadline to register in Florida is Monday, October 5. Register so you can fulfill your civic duty and cast your ballot on November 3, 2020.

ABOUT BROWARD COLLEGE:

Serving more than 63,000 students annually, Broward College provides residents with certificate programs, two-year university-transfer degrees, two-year career degrees and baccalaureate degrees in selected programs. The mission of the college is to provide high-quality educational programs and services that are affordable and accessible to a diverse community of learners. For more information, visit www.broward.edu

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