Floridians Want State Lawmakers to Act on Threats Created by COVID Crisis

August 2020 in , , , , , ,

Strong support for progressive solutions to help working families and ensure the elections are accessible and safe

A recent poll commissioned by the State Innovation Exchange (SiX) shows Florida voters hold deep concerns over the risk that COVID-19 poses to their health and the impact on the economy and the election.  Two in three Floridians believe the worst of the pandemic is yet to come (65%). 

The Role of Government in Issues Facing Florida

When asked if the state government should play a role in some of the issues facing working families, voters overwhelmingly supported government engagement in:  

  • Safely and fairly administering elections (92%);
  • Stopping the spread of the coronavirus (90%);
  • Ensuring equal access to high-quality K-12 education (89%);
  • Ensuring struggling families and children have access to food (84%); and
  • Equal pay for equal work (81%).

Voters Support Steps to Ensure Safe and Accessible Elections

Florida voters overwhelmingly believe that the state government has a role to play in safely and fairly administering elections (92%). The majority of Floridians report that they will vote by mail (52%). However, 47% still plan to vote in person, with 27% planning to vote on Election Day and 20% planning to early vote.

Whether or not they are choosing to vote in person or by-mail, voters supported policies to ensure the election is safe and accessible for all eligible voters:

  • Open additional polling locations to reduce crowds and lines (84%);
  • Lengthen the window for early voting and allow voters to cast ballots in person up through the day before Election Day (82%); 
  • Allow any registered Florida voter to cast a ballot at any polling location in their county (71%); and
  • Mail all registered voters applications to vote-by-mail (61%).

Voters Concerned about COVID Impact and Strongly Support Progressive Economic Policies

By a four to one margin voters believe Florida state government should invest more in its residents to ensure they are safe, healthy, and economically secure (64%) rather than state government keeping taxes low and cutting funds to key services like education, infrastructure and unemployment insurance (16%).

Florida has been hard hit by the pandemic with one in three of Floridians responding that they have been laid off or had their hours cut (34%).  Two out of three Floridians support extending and expanding unemployment for those workers who have been laid off (65%).    Support for this policy cuts across partisan lines  with Democrats (78%), Republicans (52%)  Independents (65%) in favor.

The pandemic is a top of mind concern for Floridians who report they are concerned about the people losing work and income due to the virus (84%), small businesses and restaurants closing down permanently (84%), Floridians contracting the virus and dying (79%), people of Florida unable to afford their rent or mortgage (79%) and people in Florida being forced to choose between their health and their job (71%).

Given the current crisis, Floridians support policies that will address the hardships being faced by many and make life easier for working families:

  • Providing low-interest loans to small businesses to help them make it through the crisis (94%);
  • Extending the grace period for people to pay health insurance bills before their coverage can be canceled (88%);
  • Limiting what drug companies can charge for prescription drugs (87%); 
  • Offering people in Florida the option to buy into the same public health insurance plans that are available to state employees if they want to (86%); and
  • Banning the practice of surprise medical billing (85%).

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