As the United States marked the first anniversary of the riots at the U.S. Capitol, Democratic lawmakers are pushing harder than ever to pass new voting reform laws.
Patrick Franklin, President and CEO of the Urban League of Palm Beach County, told WPTV’s Michael Williams working on the basics is the first priority.
“We have to make sure that we educate the voters. We have to make sure they understand what's on the ballot and make sure that they actually vote, register, then vote,” Franklin told Williams on “To the Point.” “If we can get that portion down correctly, then we can move forward.”
Franklin pointed to the upcoming special election to fill the congressional seat of the late Alcee Hastings. According to the Supervisor of Elections in Palm Beach County, voter turnout in early voting and mail-in ballots is around 10 percent. Franklin said voters need to educate themselves on how Florida’s new voting laws changed mail-in ballot voting.
The new law restricted drop off ballot boxes and will now require voters to request a mail-in ballot every election.
Franklin said the 2022 is big when it comes to elections, not only will voters be voting in municipal elections but U.S. House seats, a U.S. Senate seat and the Florida Governor’s race are all happening in November.
“We have the power to elect someone else that has our best interests, has our values and has your interests in mind,” Franklin said. “We'll take a strong look at that and we will be there to help educate our residents the best we can.”
Franklin said in this day and age of social media, some voters are not researching topics as much as they should, allowing false information sway their decisions. He encouraged everyone to get involved and know what is happening locally, on the state level and in Washington, D.C.
“This is a great country. If you care about this country, get engaged, participate in the process. This is the best tool we have is participation,” Franklin said. “Find a way how you can get involved and at the end of the day, by all means, cast your ballot.”