Well, surprise, surprise. Stymied once again at the ballot box, Florida Republicans want to change the rules for statewide ballot initiatives…

It’s like Groundhog Day all over again. Republican-controlled Florida legislature is at it again in the 2020 legislative session, cracking down on the right of citizens to collect signatures and have fellow citizens vote on constitutional amendments.

Senate Bill 1794 and House Bill 7037 will impose even more obstacles on the initiative process.

ElectionSmith

On Tuesday, the Florida House Judiciary Committee proposed PCB CDJ 19-01, a cynical power grab by the majority party to crack down on the citizen initiative process.  Over the past 20 years, Floridians, in a state dominated by Republican lawmakers, have consistently approved progressive ballot measures–from High Speed Rail, to Raising the Minimum Wage, to Fair Redistricting, to Medial Marijuana, to Felon Re-infranchisment.  When fellow citizens place these statewide constitutional amendments on the ballot for public consumption, Florida voters consistently gobble them up.

Now Republican lawmakers want to crackdown on the initiative process itself, changing the rules of the game so as to stymie future efforts to have citizens approve statewide ballot issues the majority party can easily bury in the legislative process.

PCB CDJ 19-01 is not the only attack on the process of direct democracy in Florida this session.  SJR 232 would require citizen-initiated constitutional amendments to…

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An ElectionSmith Exclusive: Nearly 200k Floridians have already cast ballots in Florida’s Presidential Preference Primary. Twice as many votes cast by

Republicans than by Democrats.

As of Valentine’s Day, 66k Democrats and 122k Republicans had mailed in their Vote-by-Mail ballots ahead of Florida’s March 17th presidential preference primary.

Stay tuned for more updates…

Mobilizing the Youth Vote? Early Voting on College Campuses in Florida

Enrijeta Shino and Daniel A. Smith, University of Florida

Abstract

Might having additional opportunities to cast a ballot increase the probability that an
individual turns out to vote? Scholars disagree over whether or not added electoral convenience bolsters voter turnout. Examining the effects of early in-person voting on public colleges and university campuses in Florida, we argue that turnout should increase when institutional barriers are lowered, as individuals, especially those who are young, have greater options to mobilize themselves, or be mobilized by others, to vote. Using individual-level election administration data and offering a series of models (differences-in-differences (DD), differences-in-differences-in-differences (DDD), and multivariate matching combined with differences-in-differences, we estimate the causal effects of the expansion of early in-person voting on eight college campuses on voter turnout. We find strong evidence that on-campus early voting increases turnout, especially among young voters.

Most recent draft available here