October 13, 2022
TALLAHASSEE — All Voting is Local Florida State Director Brad Ashwell released the following statement in response to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order that partially extends ballot access to voters in certain counties affected by Hurricane Ian:
“Hurricane Ian has devastated the lives of many Floridians, uprooting tens of thousands from their homes. This executive order provides a few important steps in giving those from Charlotte, Lee and Sarasota counties better opportunities to participate in the upcoming election. Extending early voting for those voters, allowing them to request mail ballots to new locations, and permitting mail ballots to be forwarded from addresses on file to new ones are necessary measures to ensure their voices are heard in November.
“However, state officials must do more to ensure voting access after one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history. Voters in any storm-affected county in Florida, not just the three where local elections officials asked for help, deserve extended time and resources to adequately cast their ballots. The state must consider the needs of voters across the state, not just the needs of supervisors of elections in a few counties.
“Additionally, this directive opens the door for poll workers who haven’t been trained in two years to work at voting locations in these counties. Training is essential, as each election cycle we see a myriad of problems due to poll worker errors. Lastly, officials must ensure that any changes to voting locations do not create new burdens for Black and Hispanic communities to cast a ballot.”
On Tuesday, All Voting is Local sent a letter alongside a group of partners led by the Lawyer’s Committee on Civil Rights Under Law to advocate for state officials to enact measures that would allow Floridians to have ballot access in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.