Making vote-by-mail more accessible will be increasingly important amidst coronavirus crisis
This week, the Florida Democratic Party (FDP) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) are partnering to launch a massive texting campaign to encourage Floridians to register to vote-by-mail. Hundreds of volunteers will text over one million Florida voters asking them to vote-by-mail in the upcoming election. Florida Democrats have long invested in boosting vote-by-mail turnout among unlikely voters, and this method of remote voting is increasingly important in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
The DNC and FDP built a strong campaign infrastructure early and are quickly adapting it to function digitally. For example,in late January, the DNC bought tens of millions of cell phone numbers across the country, including Florida, to improve voter contact. FDP’s team has already registered 54,000 voters this cycle and completed 45,000 volunteer shifts. These types of early investments are paying dividends as Democrats continue to campaign under new circumstances and work to modernize our elections to protect voters.
In 2018, the Florida Democratic Party executed a one million dollar program to increase vote-by-mail participation and helped sign up more than 578,000 new Democrats to vote remotely. Record vote-by-mail turnout is the reason why more Democrats voted in the 2020 Florida primary compared to 2016, despite lower in-person turnout on election day. Vote-by-mail is a reliable and safe method for Floridians to vote during this time of uncertainty.
Juan Peñalosa, Florida Democratic Party Executive Director: “We need to modernize our voting systems to protect voters, and our partnership with the DNC to enroll Floridians in vote-by-mail does just that. If Trump and DeSantis won’t act to protect the vote from a global pandemic, we will.”
David Bergstein, DNC Battleground State Communications Director: “The DNC is proud to partner with the Florida Democratic Party and state parties across the country to implement innovative tactics like this one that allow us to continue communicating with voters during this time. Some of our methods have changed, but our work to defeat Trump and help Democrats win at every level is advancing strongly.”
READ MORE ABOUT THE DNC AND FDP’S EFFORTS HERE:
MIAMI HERALD: “The Democratic National Committee is launching a text message campaign in Florida asking voters to switch to vote-by-mail ballots, as voter registration organizations continue to shift methods and goals amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with the Florida Democratic Party, the national party said it was planning to text over a million people in Florida to push for an increase in mail ballot turnout. The groups also touted buying ‘tens of millions’ of phone numbers this January to boost Democratic outreach. The state party has repeatedly encouraged the federal government and Gov. Ron DeSantis to expand opportunities to vote by mail amid the outbreak as experts increasingly warn that election systems aren’t prepared for a pandemic. The $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package passed by Congress put $400 million into state election systems — one-tenth of the $4 billion House Democrats initially proposed.”
POLITICO: “ONE MILLION — The Democratic National Committee and Florida Democratic Party are launching an effort to text 1 million Democrats urging them to sign up to receive their ballot in the mail. Democrats are asking hundreds of volunteers to reach out to voters who don’t vote by mail or are listed as inactive voters. The party has shifted a lot of its focus in the last couple of years to pushing vote by mail but the coronavirus outbreak has made it particularly crucial, party officials said. Juan Penalosa, executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, said in statement that ‘we need to modernize our voting systems to protect voters, and our partnership with the DNC to enroll Floridians in vote-by-mail does just that.’”
TAMPA BAY TIMES: “The Florida Democratic Party plans to text 1 million Floridians this week and urge them to register to vote-by-mail. It will require hundreds of the party’s volunteers to message people across the state in the coming days in hopes of converting them into remote voters. Florida Democrats came into 2020 planning to double down on vote-by-mail and dedicated $1 million to that cause. The state party will tap into the massive database of cell phones the Democratic National Committee purchased in January to help increase voter contact in 2020.”
SUN SENTINEL: “The state Democrats, along with the Democratic National Committee, plan to announce Monday that they’re launching a “massive texting campaign” to urge registered Democrats to sign up to vote by mail. Recipients will get a link to sign up to receive a mail ballot.The party said Democrats are enlisting hundreds of volunteers to text more than 1 million Florida voters. The messages won’t be coming from robots, a spokeswoman said.”
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