How Florida Is Preparing For The Presidential Elections; The State's Unemployment System
Among the topics were mail-in ballots and the latest on Florida's embattled unemployment system.
On Friday’s program, we discussed how Florida is preparing to vote in the presidential election during the pandemic. One of the areas we focused on was vote-by-mail.
By the time Election Day arrives on November 3, millions of Floridians will have already voted by mail.
Coronavirus-related safety concerns have been contributing to this year’s increase in vote-by-mail participants. In fact, more than four million people requested vote-by-mail ballots in the Florida Primary election, and more than two million of those ballots were returned.
We spoke with:
- Craig Latimer, president of the Florida Supervisor of Elections, about how Florida’s 67 counties are preparing for the November election.
- Dan Smith, a political science professor at the University of Florida and vote-by-mail expert, also joined us for the conversation.
- Al Friedman, who was a letter carrier for more than twenty years, and is now president of the Florida State Association of Letter Carriers.
- Kirk Nielsen, a freelance journalist and writing instructor at the University of Miami, who shared his experience about voting in the 2018 general election with us. He said he mailed his ballot more than a week before that Election Day, but it wasn’t delivered on time and wasn’t counted.
Florida's Unemployment System
We also discussed the latest on the state’s unemployment system.
Ken Lawson, secretary for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, recently resigned. Prior to his resignation, Lawson faced criticism as Floridians struggled to access unemployment benefits during the pandemic.
The system to apply for benefits became overwhelmed and crashed frequently. Applicants spent hours on the phone trying to reach DEO staff for assistance. Many qualified applicants’ benefits were never paid out fully, or at all.
Katherine Hobbs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.
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