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Pinellas Elections Office Candidate Calls for Expanded Vote by Mail

MIke McGraw | Politics | Elections

Mike McGraw wants the state to accept federal funds to increase election security and expand mail-in voting.

ST. PETERSBURG – Mike McGraw, a candidate for Pinellas County elections supervisor, is calling for increased election security and expansion of Florida’s mail-in voting.

McGraw made his plea in a letter to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Secretary of State Laurel Lee to expand vote-by mail in ahead of Florida’s  August and November elections.

“The current system requiring voters to request vote-by-mail ballots is an unnecessary barrier, especially during a global health pandemic that is affecting so many Floridians,” McGraw wrote in the letter. ”

“We have already seen firsthand the dramatic impact COVID-19 had on Election Day voting March 17, and we cannot allow for even more Floridian’s voices to be further silenced in this critical election year,” McGraw said.”Accordingly, I strongly urge you to issue guidance to our state’s supervisors of elections requiring them to send all active voters a vote-by-mail ballot for the remaining 2020 elections.”

In a statement, McGraw said, “We have already seen firsthand the dramatic impact COVID-19 had on election day voting March 17, and we cannot allow for even more Floridians’ voices to be further silenced in this critical election year.

“Today [May 13], I join the Florida Democratic Party, Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried, Florida’s Democratic congressional delegation, and the League of Women Voters in calling for Gov. Ron DeSantis to accept federal funds in the CARES Act to increase election safety including provisions to expand and protect Vote by Mail. Florida is one of only six states which have yet to apply for these funds.

“As we saw in 2016, outside entities continue to attempt to influence our elections in the United States. We must invest even more resources into our election’s infrastructure to make sure every vote is cast and counted fairly without influence from any bad actors.”

MiCGraw, who lives in St. Petersburg, is an event producer for a national events company focusing on the rapidly growing Tampa Bay market.

McGraw is one of three Democrats in the race for the Pinellas County supervisor of elections. The other announced Democrats are Dan Helm and Leonard Schmiege. The only announce Republican is AUdra Bonneau.

For information about McGraw, go to mikeforpinellas.com.

The primary election is Aug. 18 and the general election is Nov. 3. To register to vote or to request a mail-in ballot, go to votepinellas.com.

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