From the infamous hanging chads of the 2000 election to long lines at polling places in 2018, Florida voters have faced countless barriers to the ballot. Time and again, elections officials make decisions that erect barriers to the same communities that know the harm of being disenfranchised: African Americans, low-income voters, students and people who don’t speak fluent English. In Florida, we are fighting to remove those obstacles and achieve these goals:
- Students and communities of color have more opportunities to vote early, in person.
- Voters who speak Spanish, Haitian Creole, and other languages receive ballots, voting materials, and support in their native language as required by law.
- All voters, no matter who they are or where they live, can vote without waiting in long lines at their polling places.
News from Florida
Florida’s Legislature Must Reject Anti-Voting Bills; Expand Access to the Ballot
TALLAHASSEE - All Voting is Local Florida state director Brad Ashwell issued the following statement urging the Legislature to reject Senate Bill 90 and House Bill 7041, which would severely reduce Floridians’ access to request and return vote by mail ballots:
Florida Phoenix: Senate’s toned-down voting bill fails to stop backlash from election officials and voting-rights groups
The forum is scheduled to include Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried; Miami-Dade Democratic Sen. Annette Taddeo, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Elections; and representatives of Equal Ground Action Fund, Disability Rights Florida, the League of Women Voters of Florida, the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, Black Voters Matter, All Voting is Local, and many others.
Florida Politics: Senate could scale back elections bill
“This is the best version of the bill yet. But it’s important to remember that none of this is necessary. It’s a reaction to voter turnout,” Brad Ashwell, state director of All Voting is Local, told The News Service of Florida on Tuesday.
Ashwell said the number of Black voters who cast ballots by mail in Florida last year doubled — to more than 500,000 — from 2016 and 2018. Black voters also cast 11.4 percent of all vote-by-mail ballots in Florida in 2020, compared to 8.9 percent in 2016, he said.
“There’s no need for this bill. It’s very much designed to reinforce that national narrative that we have problems with our voting systems for the sake of justifying barriers to voting,” Ashwell said.
Kerry Washington joined All Voting is Local and other advocates in the fight to get a Florida supervisor of elections to fulfill his professional obligation and inform residents of their voting options.
Registering to vote is the first action necessary to participate in our democracy. But in Florida, their voter registration website repeatedly failed to stay up and running just before the registration deadlines. After repeated attempts to get the Governor and Secretary of State to address the faulty website, All Voting is Local launched a multi-media campaign that drew increased attention to the issue and called for a permanent fix. Learn more at FixOVRNow.com