FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 14, 2017
Common Cause Florida, State Voices Florida, League of Women Voters Florida and the Lawyers’
Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Call on Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott, to Postpone Elections
this Month Due to Devastating Impact of Hurricane Irma upon Florida Voters
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Common Cause Florida, State Voices Florida, the League of Women
Voters Florida and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, appeal to Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott, to postpone municipal and statehouse elections scheduled in the coming weeks due to the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma on the State of Florida and Florida voters.
“Floridians are continuing to struggle with repairing and restoring power to our homes and securing food and water for our families. For many, the storm has placed extra obstacles in the path to the ballot box. Governor Scott should delay special elections scheduled in the coming weeks until it’s clear that all polling places are fully accessible and all voters have a reasonable chance to participate,” said Liza McClaneghan, State Chair, Common Cause Florida.
“Florida voters should be granted the appropriate time and accommodations to participate in their local elections after a natural disaster occurs. In order to provide a fair election that doesn’t prohibit voters from casting their ballots due to circumstances beyond human control, an election process for the affected counties must be established,” said Jasmine Burney-Clark, Deputy Director Florida501(c)3 Civic Engagement Table (State Voices).
“Every citizen in Florida should be able to exercise their right to vote in the most accessible manner, said Pamela Goodman, President, League of Women Voters of Florida. “Governor Scott can help protect this right in this distressing time for so many of his constituents.”
“As Floridians emerge from boarded-up homes and shelters following the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma, we call upon Governor Scott to postpone upcoming elections for a reasonable time to allow Florida voters to exercise their fundamental right to vote,” said Julie Houk, Senior Special Counsel, Voting Rights Project, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “We are particularly concerned about Florida’s most vulnerable voters, many of whom have been unable to return to their homes, or are without power and lack basic necessities and resources. Floridians deserve the opportunity to focus on relief and rebuilding efforts without fear of being shut out of participating in the electoral process.”
About the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. Now in its 54th year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is continuing its quest “Move America Toward Justice.” The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and voting rights.
About the Common Cause Florida:
Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.
About State Voices Florida:
State Voices Florida is a state based collaboration of nonpartisan civic engagement organizations in Florida. The State Voices Florida Table’s nonpartisan mission is to engage historically underrepresented communities in the democratic process.
About the Florida League of Women Voters:
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.