After all Florida voters’ Vote-by-Mail requests were canceled in 2022, advocacy groups are sounding the alarm about the harm to “a key piece of Florida’s democracy.”
Opportunity For All Floridians, a statewide, nonpartisan, not-for-profit advocacy organization dedicated to democracy and economic opportunity in Florida, and the Miami Freedom Project, a Latina-led nonpartisan not-for-profit group working to change the political dynamic in South Florida are launching a five-figure digital ad buy urging Floridians to re-enroll in Vote-By-Mail. This campaign comes after the state of Florida purged 100% of Florida voters from the Vote-by-Mail rolls after the 2022 general election, due to the passage of S.B. 90, an election law passed in 2021.
View the videos here:
The all-digital ad campaign—produced in English and Spanish—features Florida voters explaining how Vote-By-Mail is a crucial piece of Florida’s system of free and fair elections, and urges voters to renew their Vote-By-Mail requests. The second video in the campaign urges voters to contact their state legislators to urge them to protect our Vote-By-Mail system amid concerns that the Republican-controlled state legislature in Tallahassee will seek to do further damage to Florida’s Vote-By-Mail system.
Opportunity For All Floridians Executive Director Laura Wagner stated:
“We want to highlight the harm that recent misguided election laws have done to a key piece of Florida’s democracy. This campaign uses the words of real Floridians who love voting by mail and understand that our vote-by-mail system is the gold standard and that weakening it or taking it away only ends up harming our ability to have free and fair elections.”
Miami Freedom Project Executive Director Ana Sofia Pelaez stated:
“As a Cuban-American whose own family sought freedom in South Florida, I have been horrified by the steady erosion of the institutions that make our democracy such a beacon for people seeking freedom around the world. We should all be working towards ensuring access to free and fair elections, not limiting them.”
Historically Low Vote-By-Mail Enrollment Figures Paint a Troubling Picture:
Recent statistics from key Florida counties point to a significant number of voters being unaware that they are no longer signed up for their preferred method of voting. A recent report from CBS Miami highlighted the impact of these changes.
In Broward County, in the 2020 presidential election, 475,526 people voted by mail. But in January 2023, there were only 2,237 signed up for vote-by-mail ballots in Broward. In Miami-Dade in 2020, 511,577 people voted by mail. And in January 2023, just 4,600 were signed up to receive vote-by-mail ballots.
Secretary of State Cord Byrd’s Own Report Recommends No Further Changes to Vote-by-Mail law
One of the legislative requirements of S.B. 90 was that the Secretary of State conduct further study and make recommendations on additional changes needed in Florida’s Vote-By-Mail laws. Secretary of State Cord Byrd submitted this report in January of 2023, and gave testimony to the Senate Committee on Ethics and Elections on February 21, 2023. However, he chose not to highlight one key piece of the report: the addendum signed by all 67 Supervisors of Elections, which recommended in emphatic terms that no additional changes to Florida’s Vote-By-Mail system be made. In fact, the Supervisors of Elections counseled that making changes to our Vote-by-Mail system in line with states like Pennsylvania or Texas would be onerous to the counties, chaotic to implement, and would end up disenfranchising voters who did not understand the new rules.