Democrats Raise the Alarm: Proposal to End Vote-By-Mail Would Turn Back the Clock on Democracy in Florida
Two bills just proposed to begin the Florida legislative session, SB 1752, and its even more odious house companion, HB 1669, if enacted, will rob Floridians of their access to Vote-By-Mail. Millions of Floridians voted by mail in recent elections – more than two and a quarter million of them in the 2022 midterms, and nearly five million of them in the last Presidential election. Republicans want to turn back the clock 25 years, suppressing the votes of working people, elderly voters, communities of color, college students and more.
If passed, these bills will go into effect this summer, leaving voters who have been voting by mail for decades confused and unprepared or unable to vote in the 2024 statewide primaries, the Miami-Dade County elections in August, and the Presidential election in November.
Burdensome and unnecessary provisions
If we let extremist legislators get away with SB 1752 and HB 1669, only sick, disabled, or hospitalized voters, or voters out of the state entirely for the two weeks leading up Election Day will be allowed to vote by mail. And even they will have to provide affidavits from doctors, apply for each separate election and swear an oath that they qualify. Drop boxes at early voting sites will be eliminated. Voters would have to either put ballots in the mail early enough or figure out how to hand deliver them to the Supervisor of Elections.
In addition to their frontal assault on voter access, the two bills create hundreds of other burdensome, unnecessary, and unfunded mandates, costs that counties, especially large counties like ours, will have to bear if widespread public outrage does not stop them first.
Party Leaders Respond
“This will certainly and significantly reduce the total number of voters,” said attorney Wayne Brody, co-chair of the Miami Dade Democratic Party’s Voter Protection Team. “Even many of those few voters entitled to Vote-by-Mail, will be unable to get past the needless hurdles Republicans are proposing.’”
“These bills are the antithesis of the most foundational principle of our nation. Legislators should be making it easier for all of us to vote, not harder.” Miami-Dade Democratic Party chairman Robert Dempster said. “Even Republican leaders including Jeb Bush and Ron DeSantis have long praised the security and efficiency of our state’s elections. Voters and elected officials regardless of party affiliation must reject these bills.”
Take Action Now!
Spread the word about the danger posed by these extremist, undemocratic bills to friends, neighbors, networks, and elected representatives – particularly the Republicans. Let them know that you won’t stand for this naked attack on democracy and voting rights. Let them know that we want to move forward to expand access to reach every qualified voter, not backward to suppress the votes of millions. And do it now, because this could happen fast.
Sign up for email updates, and join us at county and local club meetings to learn how to get more involved.