DeSantis issues executive order to secure ballot box access in hurricane-damaged areas

by | Oct 13, 2022

 

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order on Thursday to expand voter accessibility in areas where Hurricane Ian directly struck
  • Provisions include an extension of the number of days voters in Charlotte, Lee, and Sarasota counties can vote, as well as the option to request a mail-in ballot be sent to an address other than the one an individual’s record
  • Poll workers trained for the 2020 election will also be permitted to work in the same role for midterm elections

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday issued an executive order that includes provisions to ensure access to Florida’s 2022 General Election ballot for the voters of Charlotte, Lee, and Sarasota counties.

Provisions include extending the number of days in which residents can early vote, as well as the designation of additional early voting locations. The early voting period may begin as early as Oct. 24 and can extend through Election Day.

“In the wake of Hurricane Ian, the Florida Department of State has worked with Florida’s Supervisors of Elections and Governor DeSantis to ensure that the 2022 General Election is administered as efficiently and securely as possible across the state and in the counties that received the heaviest damage,” said Secretary Cord Byrd, who recommended the executive action. “Our local elections officials will have all of the resources and support they need to run another successful election.”

Further, the order permits voters in the three counties to request by phone that their vote-by-mail ballot be mailed to an address other than their address of record.

In order to increase the pool of eligible poll workers, any workers previously trained for the 2020 election cycle and thereafter are able to serve in the same role for the upcoming November elections.

Nearly 1,000 Floridians in Lee County alone remain displaced in hurricane shelters across southwest Florida, according to county officials. As the midterm election date quickly approaches, state leaders will look to gain every vote they can.

As of this week, there has been no reported damage to voting machines or any accessory equipment. Voter registration closed on Oct. 11, meaning that registered voters are now locked into their registered party for the midterm.

Per the most recent count, 5,233,366 Floridians are affiliated with the Republican Party of Florida while 4,963,722 residents are registered with the Florida Democrats. 3,939,389 individuals remain independent and are unable to vote in primary elections, while just 258,804 affiliate with third-party groups.

Republicans surpassed Democrats in registered voters for the first time in Florida history last year, reaching a milestone the party has been trending towards for nearly a decade. Since 2010, the Republican Party of Florida added nearly 1.5 million new voters.

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