TALLAHASSEE – All Voting is Local Florida and leading voting rights advocates from League of Women Voters of Florida, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Common Cause Florida in a telephone press briefing once again urged Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue an executive order to increase the use of ballot drop boxes, allow more time for mail-in ballots to be counted, and to expand early voting. Advocates also pressed Gov. DeSantis to expand voter registration outreach efforts, which is especially critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re asking Governor DeSantis to not make voters choose between their health and voting in this election,” said Brad Ashwell, Florida state director for All Voting is Local. “With the stroke of his pen, he can issue an executive order that increases ballot drop boxes, allows more time for vote-by-mail ballots to be counted, and expands early voting. He has the authority and obligation to empower Floridians to vote in a manner that’s safe, accessible, and responsible for all.”
“It is critical that Governor DeSantis act to make voting as accessible and easy as possible for Florida’s voters,” said Patricia Brigham, president, League of Women Voters of Florida. “This is an especially challenging election year for our Supervisors of Election and voters as we are under a global pandemic. It is the duty of state officials to be as responsive to the voters as possible.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected communities of color, has made in-person voting an untenable option for some voters,” said Michael Pernick, voting rights attorney, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.”Florida must do more between now and the November election to expand the availability of drop boxes, so those voters have an effective, safe, and secure means for casting ballots in the midst of this pandemic.”
“All voters need to understand their options on how to vote safely in-person early or on election day, as well as vote by mail,” said Liza McClenaghan, state chair of Common Cause Florida. “Transparency in communicating the changes in voting processes is important to convey to all voters, remembering that some voters only vote in general elections and may not have seen previous communications about polling place changes, vote-by-mail drop boxes and new early voting sites. This is a role for all of us to play in the lead up to the election.”
The audio recording of the briefing is located here.
All Voting is Local Florida and advocates have long called on Gov. DeSantis and Secretary of State Laurel Lee to expand outreach efforts and voting options amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently they issued a letter demanding safer voting conditions for the general election.