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For Immediate Release

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.

“This campaign is about increasing voter participation and making sure that voter composition in our city elections reflects the demographics of our community,” says Larry Eger, co-chair and elected Public Defender of the 12th Judicial Circuit. “This Saturday, we’re continuing to put aside any political differences in order to jointly support voter participation in our city elections.”

With historically low voter turnout in local elections, changing the election date is expected to dramatically increase overall participation, bumping it from a range of 15 to 23 percent up to 50 to 70 percent.

The shift to November elections will raise voter turnout for the city’s minority residents. According to data obtained from the Sarasota Supervisor of Elections, in fall elections, African American voter composition will more than double, Hispanic voter composition will almost triple, and voter composition among voters 29 and younger will nearly triple.

“Greater voter participation ensures more representative government policies that reflect the desires of the constituents they serve,” says Suzanne Atwell, Change the Date Sarasota co-chair and former mayor. “This canvassing event on Saturday is about educating residents about having their say on when our local elections are held.”

Changing the date from spring to fall would also save approximately $100,000 in taxpayer dollars every election cycle.

Organizations that endorsed Change the Date Sarasota include the Sarasota County Branch of the NAACP, Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, ACLU of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota Democratic Black Caucus, Sarasota Manatee Young Democrats, The Argus Foundation, Sarasota Chapter of the ACLU of Florida, Sarasota Police Officers Association, International Union of Police Associations, Realtor Association of Sarasota and Manatee, Gulf Coast Builders Exchange and Manatee-Sarasota Building Industry Association.

For more information, including ballot language, the proposed changes to the Charter of the City of Sarasota, as well as FAQs, visit www.ChangeTheDateSarasota.com.

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For more information about this event or if you are interested in joining the canvassing effort, contact Gabriel Hament at gabrielhament@gmail.com. 

Click here to see the list of supporters:

Change the Date Bi-Partisan Canvass (10.20.18)