TALLAHASSEE — A coalition of voting rights and community organizations urged local government officials across Florida to provide early voting options for the ongoing municipal elections.
In a letter sent Monday, advocates urged expanding early, in-person voting options for the fall municipal elections to reduce major barriers to the ballot caused by the latest COVID-19 surge, and Florida’s recently passed anti-voter law. Groups encouraged municipalities to offer at least one early voting location operating the Saturday and Sunday before Election Day.
Advocates also highlighted cities throughout the state who are already offering early voting, including: Anna Maria, Apalachicola, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Homestead, Labelle, Lake Helen, Marathon, Miami Beach, Ponce Inlet, Orlando, St. Cloud, Starke, Stuart and Venice.
“With many of your municipalities implementing their first elections under the new Florida voting laws, it is urgent that steps be taken now to eliminate any obstacles that may prevent voters from being able to cast their ballots and participate in our democratic processes,” groups wrote to officials. “As such, we encourage you to offer eligible voters all potential options available for them to participate in the elections – starting with early voting, a critical access point for Florida’s voters.”
The full letter can be found here and was signed by the following groups:
All Voting is Local
ACLU of Florida
Alianza for Progress
Democracy For All Florida
Emgage Foundation (Florida)
Florida Conservation Voters
Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People & Families Movement
La Mesa Boricua de Florida
The Bros in Convo Initiative
Voting Rights Lab
In a recent letter, groups also urged the secretary of state and Florida Division of Elections to prevent barriers to the ballot caused by SB 90, the anti-voter legislation signed into law in May, which makes it harder for voters to request and return vote-by-mail ballots and get assistance while waiting in line to vote.