CHANGE THE DATE
Recent News & Announcements
Who can argue against increasing voter turnout in municipal elections by 300 percent while saving taxpayers money? Surprisingly, last week, Carrie Seidman’s column heralded “Undisclosed dollars vie for your ballot decisions,” and omitted key information from readers about the “Change the Date” ballot initiative to amend the Sarasota City Charter.
The column speculated that the ballot initiative might be a Trojan horse laden with sinister plans by developers, but failed to mention the role of several organizations that directly undermine that suggestion. Despite this bucket of omission and misinformation, the column failed to offer even one example of “undisclosed” or “mystery” dollars supporting Change the Date.
Let’s be clear about what supporting the Change the Date initiative means: It seeks to schedule municipal elections when most people vote and saves taxpayers money. Nothing more. Nothing less.read more
We helped circulate the petition to change the date of the city election because we believe it will expand voter participation in the city elections, which has a notorious low turnout when held in the spring.
We were impressed that this petition to change the date was a bipartisan effort backed both Democrats and Republicans including the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, the local chapter of the NAACP, the Manatee/Sarasota Democratic Black Caucus, the Sarasota Manatee Young Democrats, the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Argus Foundation and the local building and real estate groups.
High voter participation is a sign of a healthy democracy and leads to a more representative policy being advanced by those elected. We have voted “yes” to change the date.read more
I am a Democrat. The national platform of the Democratic party says this:
“It is a core principle of the Democratic Party to maximize voter participation for all Americans. Our democracy suffers when nearly two thirds of our citizens do not or cannot participate, as in the last midterm elections. Democrats believe we must make it easier to vote, not harder.”
I believe in this core principle and embrace it. This belief is why I am the co-chair of the Change the Date initiative to change the date of the city commission elections to fall to coincide with federal, state and county elections. It will double to triple voter turnout.read more
At a house just south of Hudson Bayou on Saturday morning, a group including past and present city officials, business group leaders and residents gathered to discuss the importance of a referendum on the November ballot.
Different members took the time to speak about how a broad coalition had come together to support moving city elections from March and May of odd-numbered years to August and November of even-numbered years. As supporters of the Change the Date Sarasota political committee, those in attendance said they were part of a bipartisan effort to make it easier for city residents to select their officials.read more
SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) – Voters in Sarasota: get ready to mark your votes on a crowded ballot next month. If some leaders in the city get their way, you’ll have to vote on even more candidates in the upcoming general elections.
Right now, the city holds its election for the city commission race every other spring, but each one costs taxpayers $100,000. Now it’s up to you to decide if you want to continue to vote in that election, or have them coincide with federal, state, and county elections.read more
SARASOTA – Local leaders on both sides of the political aisle went door-to-door with campaign supporters to canvass several of Sarasota’s neighborhoods over the weekend.
The door-to-door campaign is intended to educate City of Sarasota voters about the charter amendment on the ballot. This amendment, if approved change the date of the city elections in Sarasota to coincide with state, federal and county elections.
Proponents of the change say switching the date of the election from spring to fall will more than double voter turnout. Stats show a typical City of Sarasota election draws between 15 percent and 23 percent to determine who will represent the public at City Hall.read more
Change the Date Sarasota is an incredible gathering of residents, businesses, organizations and thought leaders across the political spectrum. It is an effort to increase voter participation in city commission elections and to save taxpayer money by changing the date of city elections to the fall.
It is not just overall voter participation that will double or triple, African American voter composition more than doubles, Hispanic voter composition almost triples, and voter composition of those under 29 years old almost triples in fall elections as well.read more
Finally, city voters will have the opportunity to change the city’s voting schedule.
The primary impetus for this change is to bring an end to less than 20% of the city’s voters deciding the outcomes of City Commission elections.
The governance of the city of Sarasota desperately needs change. This amendment is a step in the right direction.
We recommend: Vote yesread more
Community Leaders Host Bi-Partisan Canvass this Saturday in Support of Change the Date Sarasota City Charter Amendment
SARASOTA, Fla. (Oct. 17, 2018) – With the November 6th election less than three weeks away, community leaders on both sides of the political aisle are going door-to-door with campaign supporters to canvass several of Sarasota’s neighborhoods this Saturday morning, October 20th. Supporters and volunteers are meeting up at 9:30 a.m. at 1115 Citrus Avenue in Sarasota. The door-to-door campaign will educate City of Sarasota voters as to the city charter amendment on the ballot. This amendment will change the date of the city elections in Sarasota to coincide with state, federal and county elections.read more
In an effort to increase voter turnout, cities across Florida are reforming their elections. The 2018 general election will give voters in Gainesville and in Sarasota the opportunity to align municipal elections with the regular, biennial federal, state, and county elections already happening in those communities.read more