Taking direction from the Florida Democratic Party, Sumter County Democrats joined the 2020 Voter Protection effort early in 2019.
The effort has been guided by State Committeewoman Cris Andersen.
During the Presidential Preference Primary in March, an estimated 100 volunteers will staff a “Boiler Room,” from which they will be monitoring voting and helping the state and the Sumter County Democratic Executive Committee identify and tackle problems before the general election in November.
Leading up to the March primary vote, Sumter County volunteers have researched Democrats who have been purged from the voter lists, trained poll watchers and poll observers and educated voters on the election process, according to a news releasee.
“Recent reports highlight Democrat fears of Republican efforts to suppress the vote. An example is an Associated Press report that President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee will spend more than $10 million during the 2020 election campaign cycle to bolster their Election Day operations. The GOP expects court challenges accusing states of unconstitutionally suppressing participation in the elections,” Democrats said in the news release.
The Florida Democratic Party notes that not everything that suppresses the vote is intentional. Insufficient parking, poorly trained workers and inaccessible polling locations can also have an impact. A monitoring program allows the Party to identify and tackle these issues before the general election.
“Voter trickery also takes place well before elections,” the news release said.
Sumter County Supervisor of Elections William Keen recently issued a warning of misleading mailings. His advisory said voters may have received mailings from groups such as the Voter Participation Center or The Center for Voter Information. Keen, who stressed that the mailings were not from his office, said these organizations have, in the past, used outdated and incorrect data to mail pre-filled Florida Voter Registration applications to voters who are already registered, minors, pets and even deceased family members.
Voters who witness problems during the March Presidential Preference Primary can report it to the Democratic Party’s Voter Protection Hotline at (833) 368-3352.