While November’s election may seem far away, it’s critical that Florida’s Supervisors of Election start acting now to ensure as many residents as possible can vote by mail, and take steps to expand in-person and early voting options for those who need it.
In a letter to Secretary of State Laurel Lee and the Governor, the SOE Association formally asked for the release of the state’s share of $400 million in funding from the Help America Vote Act, a coronavirus stimulus bill signed by the President on March 27.
The supervisors are counting on $20 million to put a stop to any pandemic-induced election mishaps. Fortifying elections against the pandemic will require significant changes in electoral policy and infrastructure. But that money has yet to be released by the Florida Department of State. The $20 million in federal funds is contingent on $4 million in matching funds, which the SOE association asked the state to absorb.
Individual county Supervisor’s budgets are due soon, and funding is key to their success in being able to plan for the necessary changes.
Most election systems are not equipped to handle a public health crisis such as this pandemic. Florida must, therefore, update its electoral procedures in ways that preserve the fundamental right to vote, while keeping voters and election workers safe.
We’re asking everyone to place pressure on the Governor to aide our Election Supervisors. He absolutely must grant the required $4 million match and immediately release the funds to our counties! Call the Governor’s office on (850) 717-9337,or email the Governor at [email protected].