Dear FL Voter Protection Family,
Thank you for your time, your energy, and your care. Thank you for letting us join you in our fight for democracy. Thank you for giving it your all – even though the odds of democrats winning in Florida were so slim. As the adrenaline of the last few days wears off, I have found myself reflecting on what an honor it has been to work for such a dedicated, incredible group of Floridians and Democrats. Thank you for allowing me to serve in this role.
I want to share a bit of what we accomplished together. Florida has the most decentralized, volunteer-based voter protection program in the country. Due to every one of the thousands of those volunteers, we were able to build the largest voter protection program in the country.
In numbers, we credentialed over 5,000 poll watchers across 60 counties. Between Early Vote and Election Day, we had poll watchers protecting voters at priority polling places for 63,546 hours. That’s 7 years, 3 months, and 2 days worth of poll watching. Our hotline fielded 34,908 voters’ questions. And our volunteer lead cure team contacted over 8,000 voters about their curable ballots and ensured that 1,376 democratic voters’ ballots were cured and counted. With this team, we spotted and resolved 4,895 issues from inadequate parking to voter intimidation. While Florida sadly slid more to the right this week, it was not because of your work.
I could not be prouder to have worked with such an incredible group of people. There are a few that I need to give specific praise and appreciation. For over a year, a group of volunteers has worked with me on a nearly daily basis. Anne Daley, Marv Diamond, Mary Beth Gentleman, Barbara Katz, and Tom Klee helped rewrite and restructure every training, handout, and legal document we produced. These were countless hours of hard work. Mary Beth Gentleman, Anne Daley, Judy Koons, Ellen Tetlow, Nancy Broff, and Kim Epstein all spent countless hours training poll watchers, hotline operators, canvassing board observers, and boiler room workers. Kim Epstein, Mary Beth Gentleman, and Erica Abate Recht also helped support SOE Advocacy teams and reached out to SOE offices countless times with inquiries and public record requests to find out vital information for this election. Kim and Erica even came to Orlando to help see us past the finish line. Kim Epstein really dedicated endless time to supporting our team at every turn, almost every day, and with every single type of task. Anne Daley created and led an incredible statewide cure program that helped inform thousands of democrats on how to cure their ballots. Renard Biltgen helped process and evaluate the monthly voter roll to ensure nothing illegal was happening. Pepper Williams created an incredible website to help us schedule poll watchers. This saved us countless hours of work. Ben Rosenthal invented a program that allowed us to match poll watchers to priority polling locations automatically. And then there were the tireless county team leads who showed up to endless meetings, made countless calls, aggressively advocated for voters’ rights, learned new programs, and went along for this crazy ride. None of this would have been possible without you all.
Finally, I need to thank my incredible staff (and now family). Fnan Ysahak ran an incredible hotline team. He was thrown all sorts of curveballs and managed them calmly and professionally. Alfred Bridi (re)joined the voter protection team the last month and a half to bring his experience and expertise to see us through the hardest part. Erin Fowler jumped in without missing a beat. She quickly learned Florida election law, how to navigate the complicated web of Supervisors of Elections, and quickly became one of our team’s greatest assets. And finally, the most essential member of our team, Adam Ginsburg. Adam pushed us all (and certainly me) to be as thoughtful, hardworking, and caring as we could be. Thank you team, I could not have imagined a better group.
One last time (for those who know), please unmute yourselves and give each other a huge round of applause!
With all my gratitude,
FDP Voter Protection Director