Voters across Florida, most of them elderly Hispanic, have reported their voter registrations changed to the Republican Party without their knowledge. For more than three months voters have been contacting Senator Taddeo’s office with stories of this occurring to them. As a result, Senator Taddeo drafted an amendment to SB 524 to address these serious claims which Senator Hutson accepted. Senator Hutson also credited Senator Taddeo with being the leader in the state on the identification of this issue and bringing it to the attention of the Senate. Although she did not vote for Senate Bill 524, she is appreciative of the opportunity to have shared these incidents of election disparities with her Senate colleagues. An excerpt from the exchange is below:
Senator Taddeo: “Thank you Senator Hutson for your work with me on this bill and for accepting my amendment knowing that I’m still against the bill. I know that’s not normal.
Senator Hutson: “Senator Taddeo, thank you for that amendment. You have identified a problem that I don’t think any one of us was aware about until you brought attention to it. And it now made its way around the state, given the great research done by some of our news outlets, so thank you for that, and that is why that is in here. I’ve said I don’t want anything fraudulent happening in our elections and you identified that problem.”
Senator Taddeo offered the following statement: “Though I did not vote for Senate Bill 524 because it contains many harmful election reforms including the implementation of Ron DeSantis’ Election Police, it does address a very serious issue with voter registration here in Florida. My office has been contacted numerous times over the past months and I’m grateful that we were able to work together to address it and successfully remove the second form of identification that was previously required as well. Let me be clear. We made a bad bill less bad. I could not in good conscience vote for it but we did make gains.”