TALLAHASSEE — Florida lawmakers begin their annual legislative session Tuesday, with the potential for attacks on voting rights and on citizens’ abilities to have a say in their own governance expected to be a focus.
Common Cause Florida, with more than 35,000 members statewide, will advocate on behalf of the people of this state by speaking out against any and all attempts to add unnecessary restrictions on people’s right to vote.
Statement of Amy Keith, Program Director for Common Cause Florida
Every Floridian deserves to have their voice heard. This is essential to deliver on the promise of a democracy that represents and works for us all.
As lawmakers begin the legislative session in Tallahassee today, I urge them to remember that they are there to do the people’s work: power must rest with the people of Florida, and not with special or partisan interests.
We have seen restrictions heaped on our right to vote in recent years, with efforts to make voting more difficult and more confusing for ordinary Floridians.
Partisan gamesmanship can have no place in our elections processes, and we as the citizens of this state must take steps to ensure that every eligible voter who wishes to vote can do so without barriers.
The legislature has also forecasted other restrictions on the ability of Floridians to have a say in their own governance, through measures that preempt local communities from making their own decisions about how to run local elections and through a proposal to make it even harder for Floridians to amend the state constitution.
Any attempt to consolidate power and chip away at the long-held ability of the people of this state to seek change through citizen-initiated ballot measures must be stopped in its tracks.
Floridians have long used the citizen’s initiative process to bring about sorely needed change, paving the way for things like fair voting maps that put the interests of people before that of partisan politicians and corporate greed.
Making it harder for citizens to pursue this important process of seeking change will muffle our voices, and steal power away from the people of this state.
Going forward, Floridians would be well served by a legislature focused on the needs of the people, including their right to participate in our democracy without barriers, instead of catering to special or partisan interests.