Today, after the Florida League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote announced they will resume voter registration drives statewide, the League of Women Voters of Tallahassee began registering its volunteers at the Leon County Supervisor of Elections Office.
To comply with state law, the volunteers filled out forms with their names and addresses; the forms will be sent to the state for approval. One of those volunteers was Katie Pospyhalla, a 20-year-old student majoring in Middle Eastern studies. She says she’s looking forward to talking with other students around Tallahassee because she thinks they don’t care enough about voting.
“And it’s something that I kind of hope to change," she said on Wednesday. "I kind of want to be like, ‘Wake up! These are your issues too and you need to get involved.'"
The nonpartisan League of Women Voters had suspended its registration drives since last year, when the state passed the contested elections law requiring groups to submit voter registrations within 48 hours or face a $1,000 fine. Last week, federal judge Robert Hinkle struck down that part of that law, but groups like this one still must submit their volunteers’ information to the state before resuming registration drives.
As soon as the League receives confirmation from the state—which could take up to two weeks—League of Women Voters voter services chair Janet Findling said volunteers will be back at all the places they’ve worked in previous elections— whether it’s Seminole football games, churches, the Downtown Market or grocery stores.
"We’ll go anywhere in Leon County," Findling said with a laugh.
Also on Wednesday, Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho said voter registration drives have historically been responsible for a significant portion of voters on the Leon County voter rolls. In the 2008 general election, he said, groups like this one were responsible for 27,000 of those registered in Leon County.
“So, as the Supervisor of Elections, I am grateful, and I welcome the League of Women Voters for getting into this business of ensuring that fellow citizens can participate,” he said.