Dear Governor DeSantis and Secretary Lee:

Dream Defenders, New Florida Majority, Organize Florida, Advancement Project National Office, and Dēmos are writing to express our concern about the impact of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic on the upcoming Presidential Preference Primary this Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

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We understand that Florida officials are working hard to ensure that citizens are protected and voters can safely and securely cast their ballots in this election. We also recognize the tireless efforts of the County Supervisors of Elections (SOEs) and their staff to move quickly to adjust polling locations, recruit poll workers, and implement measures at polling places to create healthy and safe environments conducive to the vital act of American democracy: voting.

It is imperative that the State of Florida take action to ensure that registered voters, who are displaced due to the state of emergency, such as college students, persons who are quarantined (whether by mandate or by choice), and those especially vulnerable to COVID-19, such as elderly 2 persons, are provided real opportunities to cast ballots. This national and state emergency requires that you make additional immediate adjustments to the Presidential Preference Primary procedures for casting ballots.

As explained below, we ask that you immediately implement new procedures to protect the vote under these circumstances. These include extending the deadline for vote-by-mail ballot requests to March 17; extending the receive-by deadline for vote-by-mail ballots to 10 days after Election Day, an accommodation that already applies to military and overseas voters; extending early voting hours today, March 15, and implementing it on Monday, March 16; permitting curbside voting for any voter who requests it due to concerns about COVID-19; and taking other steps to keep voters informed and safe during the voting process.

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We would appreciate an opportunity to speak with you about these vital accommodations. If we do not hear from you by 12 noon on Monday, March 16, we may pursue litigation to protect the rights of Florida voters.

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