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Statement: Florida Voters Face Numerous Obstacles on Election Day, as Advancement Project National Office and Partners Support Election Protection Efforts in the State

Today, Florida voters encountered numerous hurdles voting in-person on Election Day in an election season fraught with voter suppression. From the Republican legislature’s action to prevent Returning Citizens from voting without the full repayment of fines and fees to the refusal of the State of Florida to extend online voter registration on the voter registration deadline, it is obvious that voter suppression was a consistent presence in Florida’s 2020 elections. Advancement Project National Office, a national racial justice organization released the following statement:

“It is clear that Florida voters, especially Black and Black Floridians, were subjected to mis- and disinformation, blatant lies about Florida’s vote-by-mail system at the highest level of our nation, and long lines. Despite a global health pandemic, voters cast a ballot in robust numbers both by mail and in-person. Despite last minute changes to voting sites and poll closures during the election cycle. Advancement Project National Office lawyers were on standby, supporting election protection efforts and addressing issues as they came up,” said Judith Browne Dianis, Executive Director of Advancement Project National Office.

“We have to lift up the work of the racial justice movement in turning out voters in the midst of a global health pandemic. We must give credit to all the organizers and volunteers who worked to educate voters, remind them of important deadlines, notify them of changing rules and procedures, redirect voters from early voting sites, and monitor the administration of in-person voting on the ground. It was the racial justice movement that helped turnout voters despite efforts disenfranchise Returning Citizens, and to slow down the delivery of vote-by-mail ballots by the United States Postal Service.” said Jorge Vasquez, Power & Democracy Director for Advancement Project National Office.

“The level of infrastructure that was built by communities of color was incredible. It was much more sophisticated and creative than efforts seen just a decade ago. Advocates had parades to the polls, Souls to the Polls events, and used sophisticated technology to support voters. Despite partisan efforts to erect new barriers to voting and make the process more restrictive, the movement was able to organize and ensure that Black and Brown voters were able to vote. The 2020 election indicates that voting is still too hard in Florida and across the country. We cannot rest until every voter is able to cast a ballot in a free, fair and safe election. With polls now closed, it is up to advocates to ensure that every vote is counted,” said Carolyn Thompson, longtime Florida Voter Protection Advocate with Advancement Project National Office.  

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