JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — More than 1.6 million Floridians have already cast a ballot ahead of the August primary slated for next Tuesday.
Without a GOP challenger, the only question in the governor’s race is which Democrat will take on Gov. Ron DeSantis in the November general election.
Action News Jax’s Jake Stofan sat down with both Democratic candidates to flesh out their platforms on abortion and voting rights.
The overturning of Roe v. Wade put the issue of abortion back in the hands of states.
Some have virtually banned abortion while others like Florida have reduced the amount of time women have to obtain the procedure.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL 13th) both assert they would get rid of the state’s new 15-week abortion ban.
Crist said he’d sign an executive order protecting a woman’s right to choose on day one of his administration.
He’d also try to repeal the 15-week ban.
If the legislature doesn’t go along with this repeal, he said he’d go to the ballot box.
“We have one of the best privacy clauses in any constitution in the country, but if the Florida Supreme Court doesn’t give it the respect it deserves, we can amend the constitution, get the signatures necessary and embed it. So it’s all hands on deck,” said Crist.
Fried said she would also back a constitutional amendment to explicitly protect abortion, but on her first day in office she said she would declare a state of emergency.
“Because that’s what it is, and that way I will be able to have the ability to not put money sent down to our state attorneys who would be potentially prosecuting, whether it’s doctors or providers who are producing and providing abortions,” said Fried.
On voting rights, Crist said he’d roll back restrictions on vote by mail and drop boxes.
He also said he would make Election Day an official holiday.
“You should make it as easy as possible to vote. It is our right. It is our democratic right in a democracy,” said Crist.
Fried also called for an official holiday on Election Day, along with automatic voter registration and day-of voter registration.
“So a lot of things would be to make things easier, not harder. And unfortunately Republicans made it harder because they know that Democrats were voting vote-by-mail,” said Fried.
Tune in to Action News Jax Friday night to catch our final segment with the two candidates.
We’ll be asking Crist and Fried to explain why they believe they’re the candidate best positioned to unseat DeSantis in November and how willing they are to work across the aisle if they’re successful in that effort.
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