Terrie Rizzo, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, along with Democratic elected officials, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Congresswoman Donna Shalala, Senator Gary Farmer, and Senator Geraldine Thompson, held a press call on May 13 to call on Governor Ron DeSantis to act swiftly to request federal funds to ensure the health and safety of Florida voters.
Rizzo stated: “Today, we are all here to call upon the DeSantis administration to get its act together and take election safety seriously.”
Rizzo continued: “The governor has known this issue needed to be addressed, yet still, we wait. He should use his executive powers to give the county supervisors of elections the flexibility they need to expand early voting and vote by mail, and request the grant money available to Florida to assist our county supervisors of elections to fund making our elections safer. Governor Ron DeSantis must not drag his feet on this –– he needs to act now.”
Congresswoman Wasserman Shultzstated: “We are really here to demand Governor Ron DeSantis stop dithering and take immediate action to protect our elections. It is clear that he is stalling and waiting for direction from his boss Donald Trump … The longer he waits the wider he opens the door to chaos confusion and calamity this fall.”
Congresswoman Shalalastated: “Governor DeSantis must not squander the opportunity given to him by a bipartisan vote by Congress to receive additional funds to protect voters’ health and safety. He should act now to request these funds and put them toward important uses including expanding early voting, vote by mail and providing additional protective equipment for voters, poll workers, and volunteers at election sites.”
Shalala also reminded DeSantis that “this isn’t the governor’s money, these are the people’s funds” and “taxpayers have the right to have these funds used to make voting safer.
Senator Gary Farmer stated: “We are asking the governor to do one thing very simply, listen to your supervisors of elections,” and he discussed the bipartisan nature of the supervisors of elections’ request, noting that “supervisors from red counties, blue counties, and purple counties have all signed on to this letter seeking these funds. It really is a no brainer.”
Senator Geraldine Thompson discussed: “We don’t have time to waste. People qualify for the ballot next month, we are talking about June. Our supervisors of elections need directions now, they need assurances now, they need flexibility.” Thompson continued that “we can’t wait and we want to ask the governor today to draw down the $20 million so that we may have safe secure elections.”
Thompson also stated: “We want to extend the amount of time that people have to receive their vote by mail ballot. We know there is going to be a surge in vote by mail ballots. So the practicality of it is that supervisors need to begin to print those ballots and get them out.”
Tallahassee Democrat: Florida Democrats tell Gov. DeSantis: Take the money, democracy depends on it
Florida Politics: Florida Democrats push Governor to secure $20M in federal election assistance funds
Sun Sentinel: Florida election supervisors make urgent plea for help to make 2020 voting safe
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