This OTYCD post originally appeared in March 2019.
Help Andrew Gillum register Floridians to vote ahead of the 2020 presidential race.
Gillum made headlines when he fought valiantly in 2018 in the Florida gubernatorial race. (He was narrowly defeated by Republican Ron DeSantis.)
Far from being cowed by the loss, Gillum has devoted himself to fulfilling the promise of Amendment 4, which voters passed last year.
The amendment passed with 65 percent of the vote, more than the 60 percent required to make it law. It will re-enfranchise more than a million Floridians–possibly as many as 1.4 million, the numbers vary–who were barred from voting after a felony conviction.
Republicans know all too well that the more people vote, the more likely their candidates are to lose.
And they also know all too well how critical Florida has been to presidential contests. The 2000 contest hit a serious snag there, with recounts and hanging chads and other absurdities. Ultimately, the Supreme Court stepped in and ruled in favor of Republican George W. Bush over Democrat Al Gore in a decision that deserves eternal side-eye.
Though Amendment 4 was well-written, state-level GOP are doing their damnedest to neuter it. They’re trying to pass a law that would force all ex-felons to pay any and all remaining court fees before they’re allowed to vote again, a move that many have called out as a variation on a unconstitutional poll tax. [Update, June 2019: the state legislature did indeed pass that law, which makes support for Gillum’s efforts that much more important.]
Gillum, who had many options available to him after his impressive campaign and close loss, has chosen to invest his momentum in an effort to register as many new Florida voters as possible.
Gillum created Bring It Home Florida to ensure that Amendment 4 works as designed, and to make the state as fierce a fight as possible for Trump in 2020.
We at OTYCD are going to beat the voter registration drum hard in 2019, but we’re starting here.
The most important thing you can do this year, the year before the presidential contest, is to register or help register as many people to vote as possible.
We need to recruit new voters and we need to encourage people to vote. The more who vote, the more likely we are to vote Trump out of office in 2020.
If your funds are limited, the smartest use of your money in 2019 is giving it to Get Out the Vote (GOTV) organizations such as Bring It Home Florida. Even more so than giving it to candidates, to be honest.
If your budget allows, please, do both. But if it doesn’t, put your money into signing people up to vote and removing barriers to voting.
An interesting final note on this. Rick Wilson, a onetime GOP operative who lives in Florida, and author of Everything Trump Touches Dies, had this to say about Bring It Home Florida on Twitter on March 21, 2019, not long after Gillum unveiled the initiative:
1/ A few words about Andrew Gillum’s plan to register a million new voters in Florida.
2/ Once upon a Time in the dark ages of the early 90s the Republican party of Florida got off its ass and started registering voters. This was during the era of Tom Slade, a two-fisted balls-out party chairman and after.
3/ Then came the era of complacency and corruption with Charlie Crist and Jim Greer. (Wrote about it in
@thedailybeast years ago. You can Google it.) Rick Scott hated the party and ran his own independent operation. We kind of slacked off on the whole voter reg thing.
4/ Fastest growing voter demo in Florida forever has been non-party affiliated. Basically a tie ball game between the Republicans and the Democrats. Democrats have seen greater greater growth in South Florida, Republicans in North Florida, broadly speaking.
5/ Democratic party of Florida is a gigantic trainwreck without the ability to get out of its own way, to mount a serious campaign operations, or to win statewide races by and large.
6/ Current #: R: 4.7 D: 4.9 NPA: 3.6 The NPA FL voter in the last 20 years is *broadly* a Shy Tory R voter. Call it 55-60ish%.
@steveschale or @mcimaps may disagree, but we can parse it later.
7/ So if
@andrewgillum is serious, and registers and IDs and *activates* even 500,000 it’s a game changer up and down the ticket. Hillary Clinton’s people talked about doing something similar, but it was a complete Potemkin village.
8/ It would be of much greater consequence than a quixotic presidential bid. If roughly half the Democratic field did the same they would alter the shape of American politics, but doing the gut work of politics is boring and hard.
So, please, let’s support the guy who passed up a run at the presidency to do the boring, hard gut work of politics.
See the Bring It Home Florida website:
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Read about the passage of Amendment 4 in 2018:
Read about Gillum announcing the creation of Bring It Home Florida:
Andrew Gillum announces voter registration effort: ‘Are y’all ready to flip Florida blue?’
Read about the Florida GOP legislator’s attempt to neuter Amendment 4 by creating what amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax: