Op-Ed: John Lewis Would Want Us To Vote And Vote Safely

By Joe Scott

Copyright Paul McDermott Photography

A tireless, fearless, life-long fighter for equality and voting rights, John Lewis told us: “We must ensure every vote and every voter counts.” 

Today, his legacy continues to come under attack and the House of Representatives playing defense, attempting in his name to restore and strengthen overturned provisions of the Voting Rights Act. 

In Florida, the Republican-controlled legislature has worked to suppress the vote, blocking expanded mail-in voting and frustrating the populace’s overwhelming vote to restore the civil rights of over a million former felons who have served their time and are therefore returning citizens.

To honor John Lewis and all our other heroes who have fought and bled for our freedoms over the years, we must all exercise our right to vote.

As I write, voting by mail is already underway for local primary and judicial elections on August 18 that are crucial to our future. The state has already missed the opportunity to protect citizens and poll workers by sending every voter a vote-by-mail ballot. 

With COVID-19 surging out of control, it is important that everyone request a vote-by-mail ballot before the August 8 deadline, to have the option of mailing or dropping off your ballot. The alternative is to vote very carefully in person during early voting from August 8-16, or on Election Day at your normal polling station.

We honor and serve our community by voting and supporting our candidates of choice in every way possible. John Lewis would be proud to see us help the elderly and disabled get to a polling place and help anyone who might need assistance requesting a vote-by-mail ballot on the BrowardSOE.org website. 

Now, more than ever, America needs us all engaged and giving our all to ensure every voter is heard. Thank you in advance for doing your part.

Joe Scott is a current Democratic candidate for Broward County Supervisor of Elections who credits the inspiration of John Lewis for encouraging him to make a difference and run for office.



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