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ICYMI: Democratic Candidate for Congress Deactivated from Voter Rolls, Florida Democrats Urge Voters to Check Their Status

In an interview on Facing South Florida with Jim DeFede over the weekend, a Democratic candidate for Congress shared that he was deactivated from the voter rolls. It’s the latest example of the impact of new election laws passed by the Florida Republican-controlled legislature, which results in voters being marked as ‘inactive’ through a process called ‘list maintenance’ conducted by Supervisors of Elections each year. 

“Republicans have been caught in the act,” said FDP Chair Nikki Fried. “For years, Republicans have been wiping Democrats from the voter rolls to inflate their voter registration advantage. Following intentional changes in election laws with the passage of S.B. 524 in 2022 and S.B. 7050 in 2023, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of inactive voters in the state, and Democrats are marked as inactive at substantially higher rates.”

WATCH: Facing South Florida with Jim DeFede

JIM DEFEDE: One of the things that really caught my attention was that you almost learned that you may not have been eligible to vote for yourself because you were deactivated from the voting rolls in what was clearly some sort of a screw up from the Elections Department. So let’s talk about that for a second, what happened?

MIKE DAVEY: So back in January, I saw a story somewhere online or on TV about people being purged from the rolls… We’ve seen what Republicans have done in Tallahassee to make it more difficult to register, to make it more difficult to vote. So I went online and I’d heard something about Democrats, more Democrats being removed than Republicans, so I thought let me just look into this. I’ve been in the same home for 11 years, I’ve been voting since I moved to Florida 21 years ago, I’ve been registered in the same precinct. So I went and checked and sure enough I had been deactivated as a Democrat and my father as a Republican had not been and he’s only been there 3 years, same address, different apartment. So it was easy to reactivate myself but I was curious as to why it happened so we contacted the SOE and they said there was some mistake with my address so they had deactivated me in October of 2023.

JIM DEFEDE: But you hadn’t moved or anything?

MIKE DAVEY: No I hadn’t done anything.

JIM DEFEDE: And just to let you know I did check to make sure you had voted otherwise, because if you’re not voting in every general election you can be deactivated, that’s one of the things that Republicans did was that trying to get, call out some voters who don’t vote on a regular basis. There’s some suspicion as to whether or not that is intended to target Democrats…but it is a good reminder that people probably need to be checking to make sure they are still actively on the rolls before they show up and vote.

According to state law, Supervisors of Elections are required to begin conducting ‘list maintenance’ by April 1st of each year. The Florida Democratic Party is urging voters to check their voter status online or by contacting their Supervisor of Elections.

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