Secure Democracy launches major ad buy amid GOP election reform push
Jerry and Ellen Bloch tout voting options in Secure Democracy ad.

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Republican lawmakers are pushing to limit vote-by-mail options in Florida.

A voting integrity group that works to ensure voting access to all who are eligible is launching a six-figure cable TV and digital ad buy spotlighting election reforms in Florida and advocating to protect Floridians’ access to secure drop boxes for mail ballots.

The ads from Secure Democracy, which will run in The Villages and areas surrounding Mar-a-Lago on programs popular among conservatives, advocate for expanded early voting an in-person options.

The buy comes as a pair of bills make their way through the Legislature that would limit access to ballot drop boxes, as well as other sweeping changes to Florida’s elections laws, including to require voters to request mail ballots more often and require ID or the last four digits of a persons’ social security number instead of the current signature match requirement.

The Senate version (SB 90) has already cleared two committees and awaits a hearing in its third and final stop, Rules. The House version (HB 7041) hasn’t been heard in any of its three assigned committees.

Secure Democracy is running two similar ads, each featuring a Navy veteran, Jerry Bloch, and his wife, Ellen Bloch. Both show the couple discussing how much they enjoy the myriad ways Floridians can cast a ballot and urge lawmakers to protect the state’s voting laws and expand access to early voting.

“As a Navy Veteran, I fought to protect the American ideals we hold dear, like the freedom to vote,” Jerry states in one of the ads. “And when I was a health care worker, I worked extended hours. It was hard to get to the polls on Election Day.”

His wife continues, “Many retirees choose to vote by mail and many — like us — dropped our ballots in a secure Dropbox. The bottom line is, everybody should have the freedom to vote.”

She goes on to urge voters to contact their state lawmakers while her husband adds to ask them the “extend early voting in Florida.”

The second ad strikes a similar tone but launches with a different appeal to service members.

“As a Navy Veteran, I’ve been stationed all over the world from Grand Turk, Northern Ireland to Rhode Island. I’ll be honest. I didn’t always vote when I was young. It was hard to know how to vote when I lived away from home,” Jerry says.

He goes on to tout “the freedom to vote by mail.”

“If we can vote in person there are choices to vote early or on Election Day,” Jerry says as his wife ads, “Florida has allowed absentee voting for seniors, military families, and anyone who needs it for 20 years.”

I hope our legislators protect Florida’s strong and safe voting laws,” Jerry concludes.

Jerry Bloch enlisted in the Navy in 1967 after graduating high school. He moved to Florida with his wife 22 years ago. Both work as audiologists.

The ads will run through April 30.

“Floridians should be proud of their state’s strong voting laws — and outraged that their state legislators are working to roll them back,” said Sarah Walker, executive director of Secure Democracy“Rather than restricting safe vote by mail or eliminating secure drop boxes, Florida lawmakers should protect these laws and work instead to expand opportunities to vote early in-person — something Florida voters want their lawmakers to do.”

Secure Democracy is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to improve election integrity throughout the nation and educates policymakers and the public about how to safeguard voting. The group also collaborates with state leaders, election administrators and election integrity experts to ensure all eligible citizens have the freedom to vote how they choose.

Florida Republicans have come under fire for this year’s proposed voting changes after they touted a successful 2020 election that went smoothly and was free of irregularities they claim occurred in other states.

Supporters of the proposed legislation argue the changes are necessary to ensure Florida remains a leader on safe and secure elections, a success that has been achieved, they say, by being proactive, not reactive.

Critics, meanwhile, contend the effort would disproportionately affect minority communities and other communities that rely on vote-by-mail to cast a ballot.


Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]


  • Ron Ogden

    April 2, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    There is no right to vote by mail; it is merely as a convenience. It has existed for decades, but it was a privilege reserved for those who needed it, particularly the disabled or service members deployed overseas. Everybody else was and is expected to vote at the polls. Mail balloting opens the door to cheating. Democrats have bragged before about their ability to harvest votes; that’s why they are working so hard to keep it. Mail balloting paves the way to the far more manipulable process of internet voting, the Dem’s next beachhead. What they really want is to be able to control the vote, as often did Richard Daley of Chicago. They learned their lessons well from him. Secure Democracy is merely a pressure group. Dems are good at pressure politics.

  • Yadja

    April 12, 2021 at 7:27 am

    NO absolutely NO we saw the damning voting fraud that was brought about with vote by mail. I am an Army Reserve nurse since 1988 and served in two wars and my father military, my X military and I want these two people, advertising for this ruse to go to Hell. No True Patriot is a Democrat. There is NO Democrat party just the Socialist Democrats and these idiots need to look that up in history.

    Damn you all.

  • Yadja

    April 12, 2021 at 7:30 am

    Vote by mail led to the voter fraud that “Stole” the election and we are stuck with Communist Socialist Democrats in charge of everything. As to these two traitors who are advertising for this, I am a veteran and NO veteran or Patriot would EVER demand anything like this so the demons can steal elections.
    Damn you all.

  • Bob

    April 13, 2021 at 8:09 am

    Voting by Mail should continue to be for the disabled and military and should have enough safeguards to protect its integrity. Early voting is currently adequate in Florida. You lazy people get off your butt and go to the polls and vote as the Constitution framers intended.

Comments are closed.


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