State Legislative Report by Kevin Byrne
In the coming months, some of you may receive letters from me or from your branch notifying you that you may not be registered to vote. Some of you may actually not be registered, and I urge you to contact your local supervisor of elections, and register. Or you can go to https://registertovoteflorida.gov/home and do it online! While you’re there, verify that you are still signed up to receive your ballot by mail. If not, take the opportunity to sign up! Recent legislation in Tallahassee resulted in limits on how many election cycles you are signed up for.
Even if you’ve registered before, if you receive notice from me or your branch, please follow up and make sure you’re still registered to vote. Voter purges are an often-flawed process of cleaning up voter rolls by deleting names from registration lists. While updating registration lists as voters die, move, or otherwise become ineligible is necessary and important, when done irresponsibly — with bad data or when two voters are confused for the same person — the process can knock eligible voters off the rolls en masse, often with little notice. Many voters discover they’re no longer listed only when they arrive at the polling place. As a result, many eligible Americans either don’t vote or are forced to cast provisional ballots. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan law and policy institute (https://www.brennancenter.org/about), between 2014 and 2016, states removed almost 16 million voters from the rolls — a 33 percent increase over the period between 2006 and 2008. The increase was highest in states with a history of voting discrimination.
So do not be offended if you receive such a notice. We simply want to make sure that all of our members are educated on the issues and candidates and are able to vote! Please take the time to verify your voting status and don’t forget to sign up to vote by mail!!