By Lex Gilbert GLAAD.org | October 10, 2022
GLAAD is working to ensure all LGBTQ voters and their allies are informed about upcoming midterm elections and encouraged to go vote. To do that, we’ll highlight races in some key states. The second state to be featured in this election series is Florida. Florida’s voter registration deadline is tomorrow, October 11th! Even if you aren’t from Florida, you should double check your voter registration status and make a plan to vote! Tell friends and family to do the same. Visit www.glaad.org/vote to check your status.
What are the upcoming dates and deadlines?
- Oct. 11 deadline for voter registration
- Oct. 29 mail-in ballot request and return deadline
- Oct. 29 early voting begins
- Nov. 5 early voting ends (check in your district as they may be slightly different dates!)
How can Florida citizens vote?
Citizens may vote by mail, early, or in person on election day, November 8th!
Who’s running for what?
Nearly every position is up for grabs! Candidates are running for federal offices including the Senate, House of Representatives (districts 1-28), and special election to fill a House seat. On a state level, Florida is electing a Governor, State Senator, State House representative, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer, and Agricultural Commissioner. Florida is also holding special state Legislative, state Supreme Court, and intermediate Appellate court elections.
Finally, voters can choose from candidates for school boards and municipal governments. Remember, smaller elections like school boards can affect LGBTQ youth by banning books, which has happened in Florida lately, and by enforcing rules about which bathrooms a trans student may use. It’s important to pay attention to these smaller elections as well!
When are debates?
Be an informed voter! There are two debates scheduled over the next couple weeks.
- Sen. Marco Rubio v. Rep. Val Demmings debate: Oct. 18th
- Gov. Ron DeSantis v. challenger/ former Gov. Charlie Crist debate: Oct. 24th (this was rescheduled due to Hurricane Ian)
Read about both Florida debates here.
What else is going to be on the ballot?
Voters may decide if they want to confirm or reject new amendments. The first of which is an amendment providing property tax exemptions on property owned by public service workers. Another abolishes the Florida Constitution revision Commission which is a 37-member Commission of appointed commissioners that reviews and proposes changes to the Florida Constitution. The third amendment allows flood resistance improvements to be ignored when considering a property’s assessed value for tax purposes.
Who are the LGBTQ candidates?
There are several LGBTQ candidates running for positions across the state of Florida. All the following are Victory Fund endorsed candidates:
- Adam Gentle, Michele Rayner, and Carlos Guillermo Smith are running for Florida House of Representatives seats.
- Teri Johnston is running for Mayor of Key West.
- Ty Penserga is running for Mayor of Boynton Beach.
- Shervin Jones, Janelle Perez, and Eunic Oritz are candidates for Florida State Senate.
- Dennis Dawson is running for Mount Dora City Council.
- Ray Deacon is running for Duval County Soil and Water Conservation board. Cheryl Green is running for Osceola County Commission.
- Michael Smith is running for Largo City commission.
- Paul Rolli is running for Wilton Manors City Commission.
What are the LGBTQ laws and policies in place?
Disappointingly, Florida still has LGBTQ relationship and HIV/AIDS criminalization laws on the books. It also has discriminatory laws regarding transgender exclusions from sports. On a more positive note, Floridians may update their names and gender markers on official documents such as driver’s licenses. Florida also has a pro-equality surrogacy law in place. Hate crime laws and hate crime statistic mandates are present for sexual orientation only, excluding gender identity besed hate crimes. Law enforcement may not profile based on perceived or legitimate sexual orientation.
GLAAD has worked with Voto Latino for several years. They are a non-profit dedicated to empowering the Latine voting population. They encourage political participation and voter registration. Kenny Sandoval, Voto Latino’s Vice President of Campaigns and Partnerships has this to say about voting, “Our rights, our very humanity, are on the ballot. This election, we have the opportunity to be the role models we wish we had growing up. Turning out to vote in this election is a matter of life and death for a young queer person of color. We owe it to them to not only stand with them but to also stand up for them.”
What are LGBTQ voters saying? GLAAD’s Poll of LGBTQ and Ally Voters:
- 77% strongly agree it’s more important now than ever to vote as basic human rights for women and LGBTQ Floridians are being taken away by elected state officials
- 67% are “extremely motivated” to vote
- Top issues: restoring abortion rights (47%), gun safety (31%), housing costs and inflation (22% each), protecting LGBTQ equality (19%)
- 71% say Florida’s “Don’t Say LGBTQ” law now in effect was designed to attack LGBTQ people. 70% strongly agree anti-LGBTQ bills are emotionally damaging to LGBTQ children and parents
- 77% have an unfavorable opinion of Gov. Ron DeSantis
What are Florida’s demographics?
- 77% White people
- 26% Latine people
- 15% Black people
- 2% Asian people
- 0.3% Indigenous people
- 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders
- 2% Two or more races
The majority of voters are over 65 with at least a high school education.
LGBTQ voters will not be silenced. Make a plan and pledge to vote! Visit www.glaad.org/vote to register.