Stephanie Murphy to head Florida Democratic Party voter protection, democracy program
You gotta give Stephanie Murphy some (tax) credit.

The Winter Park Democrat said the party will fight disinformation, protect ballot access in 2022.

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy will chair the Florida Democratic Party’s Democracy and Voter Protection Program. The Winter Park Democrat takes on the role as she prepares for a significant election cycle for herself and the state party.

“We are thrilled that Congresswoman Murphy is going to lead us in this effort,” said Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz. “From personal experience, she understands how precious our freedoms are and takes her responsibility to protect them seriously. Her work on the January 6 Select Committee, experience as a national security specialist at the Pentagon, and her efficacy in Congress have illustrated why she is the perfect voice for this effort. She brings incredible knowledge, experience, and resources to our team, and I look forward to working with her on this critical effort.”

Murphy’s own immigrant story, rescued as an immigrant from Vietnam as her family fled by boat, played high in a party announcement of her role. Florida Democrats took a beating in 2020 as Republicans painted the party as pro-socialism; many immigrants with roots in South American countries turned on Democrats as result, costing the party two South Florida House seats and delivering the state’s electoral votes to Donald Trump even as Joe Biden flipped several swing states across the country to win.

Murphy sought to counter that argument immediately.

“As someone who fled an authoritarian regime, I’m incredibly proud to lead Florida Democrats’ fight to protect our democracy and voting rights across the state,” Murphy said. “Disinformation and voter suppression weaken our democracy and run counter to the ideals that make America great. If we don’t stand up and fight back, the America we pass on to our children and grandchildren will look very different. I look forward to uniting Florida Democrats as we defend democracy and protect the voting rights of every eligible Floridan.”

The Voter Protection Program aims to ensure voter access to polls and increase turnout. Party leaders plan on focusing additional energy this year upon recruiting and training volunteers and poll observers, tracking canvassing board activity and dispatching a healthy ballot cure effort for absentee ballots.

A voter education effort comes after the Republican Legislature passed a number of changes to voting rules regarding mail ballot use and voter ID requirements.

Murphy notably has been listed by prognosticators as one of the most at-risk incumbents running for Congress in Florida, especially after announcing she would run for a fourth term instead of seeking statewide office. But it’s unclear what effect redistricting will have on her prospects. The Republican-controlled state Legislature will redraw all of Florida’s Congressional Districts in the spring and is expected to put an additional Congressional seat in Central Florida.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


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