Fl Dems claim edge in vote-by-mail effort; Republicans claim 10 million ‘voter contacts’

Voting
Florida elections supervisors urge voters to request mail-in ballots now to ensure they have all options to vote, and they assert that voting by mail is safe and reliable. Credit: CD Davidson-Hiers

The Florida Democratic Party claimed a lead over Republicans in vote-by-mail enrollment Monday, saying that more than 1 million Dems have enrolled or renewed their enrollments since March 17, the date of the state’s presidential preference primary.

The Republican Party of Florida, meanwhile, claimed to have made 10 million “voter contacts” in furtherance of President Trump’s reelection campaign and other Republican candidates.

“Our army of enthusiastic volunteers are testament to the sweeping excitement across our state to elect @realDonaldTrump and Republicans up and down our ballot this November,” the party crowed Sunday on its Twitter feed.

Party spokeswoman Alia Faraj-Johnson said the number reflected personalized calls based on the more than 3,000 pieces of public and consumer available about each voter.

“What is even better is that our sophisticated data file is also available to every republican candidate in the country and is housed at the RNC for free, unlike the Democrats who have to charge their candidates,” she said.

“When it comes to vote by mail, the Democrats are playing catch up and are only now building out infrastructure in the Sunshine State. Florida Trump Victory is operating the most advanced campaign in state history. We have an army of volunteers who are not only energized, but who are well-trained and ready elect President Trump.”

Also on Sunday, a CBS News poll suggested Democrat Joe Biden enjoyed a 6-point lead over the president in Florida — 48 percent to 42 percent. The network nevertheless listed the largest battleground state as a tossup.

A minority 34 percent of Florida respondents felt COVID-19 efforts in the state were going well; 65 percent said they were going badly.

In a written statement Monday, Florida Democrats said they held a 423,379 vote-by-mail enrollment edge over the Republicans. Four years ago, their advantage was only 8,800.

“In an election that will be decided on the margins, the Florida Democratic Party is committed to making sure every single voter in Florida is able to vote safely and securely this November,” chairwoman Terrie Rizzo said.

“Our team has been working tirelessly to organize thousands of volunteers to do the important work of enrolling their friends and neighbors into vote-by-mail. We are thrilled by the incredible energy we are seeing on the ground and today we are proud to announce that one million more Democrats have enrolled in vote-by-mail to elect Joe Biden this November!”

Democrats hold an advantage in registered votes in Florida at 5,127,920 compared to 4,851,116 for Republicans, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

July 20 is the deadline for registering to vote in the Aug. 18 primary for nonpresidential candidates and Oct. 5 is the deadline for the Nov. 3 general election.

Note: This article has been updated to include information from Republican spokeswoman Alia Faraj-Johnson.

Note: A headline earlier about voter contacts was not accurate. It has been corrected.