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Florida Candidates Left with Questions Following Emergency Rules Regarding Ballots

For Immediate Release

April 6, 2020

The emergency ruling on the ballot initiative has left candidates with more questions than answer. They are calling on Governor DeSantis and Secretary Lee to address their remaining concerns.

Fort Myers, FL — April 6, 2020 Friday morning Secretary of State Lee issued an emergency ruling in response to a coalition of candidates concerns about the upcoming qualifications for the primary election. Candidates across race and party lines came together to request that the qualifications for the primary ballot be examined amid the growing pandemic. While this emergency ruling is an excellent first step towards a fair and safe election, the same coalition is again calling on the governor and secretary to address lingering questions.

The emergency ruling allows for petition signatures to be collected digitally, hoping to decrease the face-to-face contact that would normally be involved with collecting signatures. However, the ruling did not address the issues of deadlines. For congressional candidates this is of utmost concern because their deadline for turning in signatures has passed.

Dr. Cindy Banyai, one of the co-sponsors of the initiative that now includes 45 candidates, said “We appreciate Secretary Lee addressing the ballot requirement issue, but given the extraordinary circumstances created by the pandemic more needs to be done to ensure candidates can get on the ballot and voters in the State of Florida have a choice in August.” That is why in addition to allowing candidates to gather signatures digitally the coalition is asking the governor and secretary to extend the signature deadline 45 days past their original deadlines and to reduce the filing fee and the number of signatures required to 30% of their original numbers for all candidates in all races. Michael Bluemling, Jr, the Republican co-sponsor stated, “In difficult times like these, I call on great leadership from the State of Florida, to ensure the 2020 election remains a fair election for both candidates and voters. Governor DeSantis, the future of this great nation is at hand and we have the opportunity to allow freedom to ring in our great Sunshine State without corruption.”

Banyai and Bluemling will be hosting a virtual press conference on the issue on Tuesday, April 7 at 3:00pm. Please follow this link to register and view the virtual press conference.

For more information, press only:

Eddie Thinger

(239) 351-5574

Michael Bluemling Jr.(R) – FL 21

(561) 271-1019

For more information on Cindy Banyai

For more information on Michael Bluemling Jr.:

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