Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, along with Karen André, the executive director of Forward Florida Action, Adriana Rivera of Alianza for Progress, and Andrea Mercado of New Florida Majority, held a news conference today to celebrate Democrats reaching the historic 5 million voter mark.
Florida is the largest battleground state in the country, known for incredibly close elections. The Florida Democratic Party is taking nothing for granted and aggressively working to engage voters early.
As of publication, Florida now has at least 13,698,000 registered voters, up about 420,000 since the general election in 2018. There are now 5,076,000 registered Democrats to 4,821,000 registered Republicans. Democrats have a two-point advantage with 37 percent of registered voters with 35 percent of voters registered as Republican.
FDP is building the electorate we need to defeat Trump and win a majority in the Florida Legislature.
At the press conference Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, discussed the party’s voter registration efforts:
“Florida Democrats launched a program to register 200,000 voters statewide by the time of the state Democratic Primary in August 2020, and we are well on our way. I am proud to announce that we have registered more than 40,000 voters since last June!
“When we launched this program in June of 2019, we were registering 28 people per day. As of today, our team is registering 446 voters each day — and that average is increasing each month. If we stay on our current trajectory, the Party alone will collect 200,000 voter registrations by the launch of the General Election — compared to fewer than 20,000 voters registered by the Party in advance of the 2018 election.
“We are seeing a diverse young group of voters joining Florida’s electorate. Over half of the voters the Florida Democratic Party has registered are under 35. More than a third are African American and Caribbean, and 25 percent are Hispanic. We are taking no one for granted and are proud of our work to engage everyone.”
Karen André, executive director of Forward Florida Action, praised organizers for their hard work:
“Mayor Gillum issued a call to Democrats across the state of Florida to register and re-engage voters. Well today, there is no doubt in my mind that we have all heard this message loud and clear.
“Grassroots Democrats got to work because we know democracy is not a spectators’ sport. We did the hard work of democracy all across the state in red and blue districts alike. And the Florida Democratic Party has been key to this work, and we thank Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo for her leadership.”
Adriana Rivera of Alianza for Progress discussed the importance of engaging the many Hispanic and Latin American communities in Florida, including the Puerto Rican population concentrated in Florida’s I-4 corridor:
“Most of [Alianza for Progress and it’s coalition partners’] work in the I-4 corridor, where three-fourths of the Puerto Rican population live. The Puerto Ricans in Florida are about 1.3 million at this point… We are very proud to be part of this coalition because the Latinos in Florida need to be reached out early, numerous times, and with nuance. The Latinos all have different interests where they are from.”
Andrea Mercado of New Florida Majority discussed the importance of expanding the electorate in the face of Republican opposition:
“We are building a new majority of voters that participate in our democracy in every step of the way. Whether they are registering people to vote, advocating for their rights at the county commission or deciding to run for office themselves.
“In order for Florida to have a real democracy that’s not dictated and decided by just a few we must expand the electorate to make sure that all people, especially young people, and people of color, and women have a voice and a vote. It has not been an easy task because Republicans are on a mission to attack people’s right to participate in democracy every way that they can. But, we are relentless.”