“I am disappointed by today’s court decision, which denies my request that the court order the state of Florida to expand early voting beyond current law. I had really hoped that the judge would allow counties to restore voting on the Sunday immediately before election day, but at least we will have one Sunday of early voting guaranteed. Under the new law all counties must offer voting every day from October 27 through November 3, and polls must be open at least six hours on each day.
Clearly, the Florida Republican Party will continue to do everything possible to deny people the right to vote and make it as difficult as possible for Florida residents to get to the voting booth. However, I do not intend to allow this to happen; in fact, on Tuesday morning, from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM, at the Duval County Supervisor of Elections Office, I am holding a voter registration program for Duval County residents. I will also be holding a larger event on Sunday, September 30th, with Reverend Al Sharpton, and Members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
I think it is evident that early voting has worked extremely well for African American voters. In fact, more than any other racial or ethnic group, African Americans have come to rely on early voting, and I am sure they will do so again this year. I will work to do everything I can to ensure that the system works smoothly for all voters.
I am very encouraged that most large counties, including Duval and Orange, will have 96 hours of early voting and I call on all county supervisors to implement 12 hours of voting on all eight days allowed under the new law. There is simply no reason not to do that if we are serious about wanting people to participate in democracy. Certainly, we should be making it easier for our citizens to vote, not harder.”