ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.  — A coalition of local pastors, civil rights leaders, activists and Florida organizations is calling for St. Petersburg city officials to provide voters with early voting opportunities ahead of the municipal election in November. Community leaders and candidates gathered outside city hall in St. Petersburg on Thursday urging the city council to immediately open up early voting locations. 

Because early voting sites must be designated 30 days prior to the Nov. 2 election, voters urgently need a solution. And we know that people in the area prefer to vote early, as more than 61 percent of registered voters in Pinellas County (St. Petersburg) chose to cast their votes early in the 2020 election.

The Florida coalition includes Faith in Florida, Equal Ground Education Fund, Florida Rising Together and All Voting is Local Florida.

“If the city of St. Petersburg refuses to open up early voting, it will severely limit voters’ access to the polls come November and continue an alarming trend of anti-voter restrictions set up throughout the state,” the groups said. “We know from past elections that voters in the area want early voting options and this unjust barrier restricts their freedom to vote. City officials must act urgently to open early voting locations for the municipal elections and restore a fundamental voting right to St. Petersburg residents.”