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Stetson professor says voter suppression laws hurt early voting in Florida

A man listens to speakers during a Souls to the Polls event organized by faith leaders and labor groups at an early voting location, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
A man listens to speakers during a Souls to the Polls event organized by faith leaders and labor groups at an early voting location, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

A forecasted storm could further complicate things at the polls on election day. 

Some 4.7 million Floridians have voted in this year’s midterm election, a significant decrease from the 2018 midterms. A forecasted storm could further complicate things at the polls on election day. 

Early voting in 36 states is actually surpassing 2018 numbers, but notably in Florida and Texas participation in this year’s midterm election is way down.

Stetson Law professor Ciara Torres-Spelliscy says that’s most likely due to both states passing what she calls voter intimidation laws. 

“So for example, in Florida, one of the changes was that drop boxes had to be at the Supervisor of Elections Office instead of in unmanned locations, so that necessarily is going to inhibit individuals who used that option in 2020.”

Torres-Spelliscy says participation could still spike in Florida on Election Day, but Subtropical Storm Nicole might put a damper on people’s plans to head out to the polls. 

“We now have the confounding factor of a hurricane that is scheduled to hit South Florida on Wednesday. And anyone who’s gone through hurricane prep knows that you sort of have to stop what you’re doing, board up your house, it’s very disruptive. And so that could have an impact on voters who were planning to vote on Tuesday, who now have to do hurricane prep instead?”

Here’s everything you need to know about voting on election day.

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Danielle Prieur
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