Local leaders express concerns during voting rights roundtable as Crist kicks off run for Governor

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – Congressman Charlie Crist kicked off a voting rights tour as he starts his campaign for governor.

He joined other Democratic leaders in Hillsborough County to express concerns over Florida’s new voting restrictions. The main concern the group expressed, was that people would be restricted from voting.

Laura Minutello is a self-advocate for people with disabilities and worries about the new restrictions.

“The disability communities are one of the largest if not the largest voting block,” said Minutello.

On Tuesday, she joined a group of local democratic lawmakers, and community leaders to address concerns over Florida’s new voting restrictions.

“One of the biggest restrictions with the law is that vote by mail has to be dropped off, if it is dropped off, by a caregiver or the person with a disability themselves. Not everybody has a family member or caregiver,” said Minutello.

Gov. Ron Desantis signed the new restrictions into law in May and defended the changes, arguing it makes Florida’s election more secure. The law puts restrictions on drop boxes, and voting by mail, including limits on who could drop off voters’ ballots at drop boxes, restrictions on where drop boxes can be placed, and a requirement that they all have to be monitored by elections officials whenever they’re open. The bill would also require voters to request to vote by mail more regularly.

“We’re making sure we’re enforcing voter ID, we’re also banning ballot harvesting,” said Gov. Desantis after signing the changes into law.

But today, Democrats say they’re worried the law will only make it harder for people to vote.

“Minorities, for sure, black and brown citizens, disabled citizens, senior citizens and Floridians, that’s who it’s going to hurt the most,” said Rep. Crist.

Crist says the federal government needs to pass legislation to stop states from implementing voting restrictions. Voting restrictions are expected to be a sticking point in the race for governor in Florida.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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