Florida Voting Rights Advocates Highlight Necessary Reforms for November

TALLAHASSEE – Leading voting rights experts and advocates from All Voting is Local, League of Women Voters, Poder Latinx, and NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, today hosted a telephone press briefing where they discussed Florida’s election officials’ performance during the primary election and offered policy recommendations to remedy problems that create barriers to the ballot.

Tuesday’s election went smoothly due to a high number of voters voting by mail and voting early. But the day wasn’t without problems and many issues that seemed like isolated events could become much bigger problems in November when more voters show up at the polls,” said Brad Ashwell, Florida state director, All Voting is Local. “Supervisors of Elections need to build on what worked well yesterday by expanding the use of drop boxes, offering the maximum allowable early voting and by improving the visibility of changes to poll places.” 

“We must ensure that the postmaster-general is held accountable so that our Vote by Mail process is not limited,” said Patti Brigham, president, League of Women Voters of Florida. “Voters are sending in a record-breaking number of ballots, which will likely increase in the November election. We must ensure that every vote will count.” 

“I am concerned with using schools as a means for a polling location and having staff or janitors possibly become infected with COVID,” said Nancy Batista, Florida state director, Poder Latinx “I speak from experience – my uncle has been in the hospital for 40 days and now he needs a lung transplant. He was one of five janitors who had to get a school ready.”

“Election officials must dramatically expand the availability of drop boxes for vote by mail ballots,” said Michael Pernick, voting rights attorney, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “Drop boxes are the only acceptable option for some voters, and election supervisors should make full use of the flexibility afforded to them under state law to place drop boxes in as many locations as possible.” 

RECORDING: Audio of the press call is located here

All Voting is Local fights to eliminate needless and discriminatory barriers to voting before they happen, to build a democracy that works for us all. It is a collaborative campaign housed at The Leadership Conference Education Fund, in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation; the American Constitution Society; the Campaign Legal Center; and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. For more information about All Voting is Local, visit https://allvotingislocal.org and follow us on Twitter @votingislocal.