The big news coming out of Florida recently was Hurricane Michael. After developing quickly and moving fast, it roared ashore as a strong Category 4 storm. Although my hometown was in the bull’s eye from the beginning, and it never deviated from its projected path, the intensity took many by surprise. It was a harrowing experience, and the effects were catastrophic.
Nineteen days later, and while there is still a long road to recovery, power has been restored to most homes and businesses and early voting began on Saturday, October 27, at five mega-voting sites in Bay County.
Although many people are preoccupied with dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, my hope is that they will take the time to vote. Whether it is at one of the early voting sites or a polling station on Election Day, part of the process of picking up the pieces must include voting.
A couple of races are drawing national attention, and panhandle residents should have their say. The system is imperfect and broken in many respects, but it is up and running despite the impact of Hurricane Michael. We were knocked down, but not out.
Beyond the midterm election, we will still be pursuing our goal of opening Florida primaries to all voters. As the director of Florida Fair and Open Primaries, Inc., I was out of touch for a while due to communication problems, but our team carried on outside the affected area.
Petition signatures are being collected in the field. New volunteers continue to come onboard. Future events are being organized. State political candidates are talking about and supporting open primaries. And, most recently, a mega-donor has called for open primaries in Florida.
Like the effort to rebuild our physical infrastructure in the panhandle, we continue the effort to rebuild the political infrastructure in our state. If you are interesting getting more information about our efforts and how to contact us, visit our website or Facebook page.