Operation Blackout launches five-figure ad buy to encourage voters of color to vote-by-mail

Jones, Shevrin
The ads state phrases like, 'Jobs and education, not jails and incarceration,' 'Demand Medicaid expansion,' and 'The rent is too damn high.'

Operation Blackout, a vote-by-mail mobilization project spearheaded by state Sen. Shevrin Jones, has launched a five-figure ad buy in non-urban communities across the state to encourage Floridians to cast their ballot.

The May ad buy kicks off the organization’s new monthly ad buy campaign that will continue until Election Day. The organization expects the campaign to result in more than 40,000 vote-by-mail registrations from voters of color amid the state’s increasingly restrictive voting laws.

Operation Blackout expects to top six figures in spending for digital vote-by-mail ads by the time of the state Primary Election.

An example of an Operation Blackout May ad. Image via Operation Blackout.

“Florida is at a pivotal point in our history and it’s imperative we come together to ensure every single Floridian voice is heard,” Jones said in a statement. “For too long, voices have been suppressed, voters have been intimidated and hundreds of thousands of black and brown voices have been ignored, because they don’t fit the traditional ‘super-voter’ profile. That’s why this November and beyond, I’m committed, alongside our great partners, to make the case for progressive values and policies to Black and brown voters, to enroll them into vote-by-mail and then to fight tooth and nail to ensure that they have easy access to the ballot box.”

An example of an Operation Blackout May ad. Image via Operation Blackout.

The ads will be targeted to voters of color who are under 40, those who live in non-urban areas and who are not regular voters in midterm elections. Ads will run on social media platforms.

The ads highlight topics and policies important to Floridians of color to encourage voter participation. Ads state phrases like, “Jobs and education, not jails and incarceration,” “Demand Medicaid expansion,” “Vote by mail to keep bans off of our bodies,” and “The rent is too damn high.”

With Democrats trailing Republicans among active Florida voters for the first time in modern history, many party officials and activists believe something needs to be done to reengage progressives in the Sunshine State. However, the goal of Operation Blackout is to get already registered voters of color to turnout to vote. Between 2018 and 2020, Black voters enrolled in vote-by-mail ended up voting at a much higher rate than those who voted in person, according to Operation Blackout.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


  • PeterH

    May 2, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    Everyone who is registered to vote in Florida should be voting by mail. In South Florida it’s quite simple…..you have plenty of time to study poorly worded ballot initiatives. Florida’s “League of Women Voters” are champions on deciphering and explaining the convoluted legal language of ballot initiatives

  • Impeach Biden

    May 2, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    Just imagine for a minute if “Operation Whiteout “ was organized. How about, folks go vote! See there no reference to race, gender, etc. VOTE!

    • Very well

      May 2, 2022 at 3:53 pm

      Ok I’m gonna imagine it.

      I see a bunch of poor white southerners voting for Donald trump, they get no tax cuts but I do lol

      • Impeach Biden

        May 2, 2022 at 4:22 pm

        You really aren’t very well. Nice stereotype though but mostly false. Look at all the money near the beaches. What flags were they and are they still flying. That’s mega dollar real estate. You probably file a 1040 EZ form and still live with your parents.

  • Alfred

    May 3, 2022 at 6:28 am

    Senator Jones supports voting right but yet he endorsed Lauren Book who voted against restoring felons right to vote . She also gave 66k to republicans who are stripping away our rights every chance they get.
    Senator Jones you are full of shit sir!!!

  • Harry kamalatoe

    May 5, 2022 at 3:37 pm

    Florida: Early Voting Begins Ten days before election; May be offered 11 to 15 days before an election that contains state and federal races, at the discretion of the elections supervisor. Early Voting Ends Three days before election; May end two days before an election that contains state and federal races, at the discretion of the elections supervisor. Hours and Days No less than eight or more than 12 hours per day; Election supervisors may choose to provide additional days of early voting, including weekends


    Unless you are out of the country on military orders or you are physically incapable of voting in person there is no reason not to vote in person.

    until 2020 it was universally understood that voting by mail was the most corruptible method of voting ever conceived and the only reason to encourage anyone to vote by mail is if you don’t want the to participate in the electoral process.

    • Beeb

      May 13, 2022 at 2:51 pm

      I’ve been voting by mail, in Florida, for almost 20 years. Very few polling places for too many people. Who has time to wait on line for an hour just for a parking space, than another 2 hours to get in the door? My employer does not pay me for time off.

Comments are closed.


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