State Politics

Florida Democrats expand ‘voter protection’ effort with 24-hour phone hotline

Early voting in Miami
Early voting in Miami Miami Herald -Archivo

The Florida Democratic Party has launched a 24-hour hotline for voters to report any problems with registration or casting their ballots as party leaders try to get a jump on what they say are Republican-led voter suppression efforts in one of the country’s most important swing states.

The hotline — 1-833-868-3352 — went live Monday, according to Executive Director Juan Peñalosa. It is manned by paid staff and volunteers versed in Florida election law, he said.

He said most calls will be answered live. He hopes the call center will ensure that “all legal votes are counted.”

The hotline is part of a broad and early effort by the party to address issues involving voting and elections before the 2020 elections. Both parties often hire lawyers and teams to focus on voting issues in the months before Election Day, but with the election 15 months away, Florida Democrats have started early. They have already assembled a small legal team dedicated to election and voting issues in a state where election laws and processes are the subject of frequent federal lawsuits.

The hotline will help the party work with local election supervisors to address any problems that arise, Peñalosa said, and assist Democrats in identifying trends in what they’re calling “voter suppression” efforts around Florida.

“We know that voter suppression is happening 365 days a year in Florida, and now any voter can call 1-833-Vote-FLA, 24 hours a day and be provided with the information they need to combat efforts to limit their vote and their voice,” Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo said in a statement.