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

August 4, 2020

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%).

Click here for more results.


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