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