Dems Demand 14 Days of Early Voting to Fully Reform the Elections System Republicans Broke
Tallahassee, FL – After last week’s release of a new web ad detailing Governor Scott’s “lip service” on elections reform, the Florida Democratic Party announced the launch of a statewide grassroots campaign to urge Republicans to fix Florida’s election system which they broke in 2011 with the passage of the voter suppression law. This session, the Republican-led Legislature has put forth legislation which falls drastically short of fixing the problems that led to the 2012 elections debacle. As members head home to their districts, FL Dems are activating their grassroots network to urge lawmakers to make substantive changes to fully reform Florida’s elections system, including but not limited to returning early voting to the 14 days voters received prior to the passage of HB1355.
“We saw the disastrous effects of Rick Scott and the Republican’s wrong priorities in the 2012 election debacle,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant. “From excessive wait times to intentionally lengthy ballots, Floridians have seen firsthand the impact of the Republicans efforts to suppress their vote. Floridians demanded then as we do now to stop the political games, stop the lip service, and implement real changes to fix our broken elections system. This is our voice, our vote. We will not be silent.”
In 2011, Gov. Scott and the Republican-led legislature were responsible for ramming through a voter suppression law aimed directly at making it harder for Floridians to vote. In HB 1355, the GOP made it more difficult for hard-working Floridians to vote by shortening the number of days and hours for early voting from 14 to 8 while criminalizing voter registration, virtually putting the League of Women Voters out of business. Moreover, they disenfranchised young voters and college students by preventing people from changing their address at the polls, a practice in Florida for the previous 30 years.
Over the next few days, local Democratic Executive Committees and grassroots activists will be urging their local representatives to take action in implementing real reforms through phone banking, public events, and letter writing campaigns. Organizers will be demanding 14 mandatory days of early voting, which is a simple solution that would make large strides in restoring the most fundamental right in our democracy.