Florida Republicans have joined the nationwide move to dramatically roll back voting access – on the false pretext of eliminating voter fraud.
This is out-and-out voter suppression – and we need your help to fight it.
Here in Florida, it’s obvious why the Republicans are pushing new restrictions aimed at voting by mail: Even though the GOP won the statewide elections last fall, and even though no claims of fraud tied to vote-by-mail have emerged, it is a fact that significantly more Democrats voted by mail in 2020 than did Republicans. With Governor Ron DeSantis seeking reelection next year, the GOP wants to cut back on Democratic votes.
At this moment, the Republicans’ proposed solution to the nonexistent problem of voter fraud in Florida lies in legislation in the state Senate and House. Among their many onerous provisions, the Republican bills would:
* Sharply reduce the period for which vote-by-mail requests are valid, and possibly erase all requests already approved for 2022.
* Ban or reduce access to the use of drop boxes to receive vote-by-mail ballots, which 1.5 million Floridians used to safely and conveniently return their ballots in 2020.
* Make it a crime for a friend, relative, or caregiver to pick up or drop off a vote-by-mail ballot for a voter.
Through their professional association, Supervisors of Elections throughout Florida have strongly registered their opposition to these proposed changes, arguing that they will add unnecessary costs and administrative hurdles to what is now a well-functioning system.
Where We Are Today.
Florida Senate Bill 90 has been reported out favorably by two Senate committees and is now before the Senate Rules Committee. The Rules Committee is the last stop before the bill is voted on by the full Senate. A companion version of the Senate bill with some differing provisions has just been approved by the House Public Integrity and Elections Committee, on a party-line vote. As of this writing, we do not know where or when the House bill's next hearing will be. Once we do, you will hear from us.
Can you make two quick phone calls? (Phone calls are more impactful than emails.)
1. Call Senator Kathleen Passidomo, Rules Committee Chair, at (850) 487-5028. Simply say that you oppose Senate Bill 90 and want the committee to vote NO on it.
2. Call Senator Joseph Gruters, who represents Sarasota, at (850) 487-5023. He is on the Rules Committee and spoke in favor of the bill last week. Same message as above.
One last thing (for now). Write a letter to the editor of any media you follow. Send your Sarasota Herald-Tribune letter to [email protected] Letters to the HeraldTribune must be no longer than 200 words.
But It’s Bigger Than Florida.
Appallingly, 43 states are now trying to enact legislation making it harder to vote. Most of these restrictive laws would be stopped in their tracks if the U.S. Senate passed the “For the People” Voting Rights Act, which the House recently passed as H.R. 1. Although our Florida’s two senators are unlikely to support this bill, it’s worth registering your position in favor of it. (And if you have ties in another state, please contact your senators there.)
Marco Rubio (202) 224-3041 - www.rubio.senate.gov/public/
Rick Scott (202) 224-5274 - www.rickscott.senate.gov/contact_rick
Thank you for acting as soon as possible
to fight voter suppression in our state and our country.