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Coronavirus Could Make it Harder for Some Central Florida Candidates to Make it onto the Ballot

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Photo: Elliott Stallion

Coronavirus is making it harder for some Central Florida candidates to get the signatures they need to be added to the 2020 ballot. 

Democratic leaders are calling on the State Department to extend the deadline.

Candidates have to get signatures from at least one percent of the voters in their district by May 5 to be added to the 2020 ballot. 

Otherwise, they have to pay a qualifying fee that could be upward of thousands of dollars. 

Seminole County Tax Collector candidate Lynn Moira Dictor says she’s been struggling to get the last 300 signatures.

“The neighbors when you’re walking your dog don’t even want to talk to you. If you wanted to say, ‘Here’s a clipboard can you do this?’ They don’t want to touch your clipboard. They don’t want to touch you. They don’t want to touch the pen that you’re offering.”

Dictor says if she fails, she’ll have to pay a $9,000 dollar fee to get on the ballot.

Seminole Supervisor of Elections candidate Deborah Poulalion says she’s glad she made her quota before public events were canceled otherwise she too would have had to pay a fee. 

“So if you don’t have outdoor events and you can’t go to someone’s door, it is very difficult to get the signatures without spending money. Because you’re really left with sending it by mail.”

Poulalian says these fees can act as a barrier to women and people of color who would otherwise run for office.

Democratic leaders like Orlando Representative Anna Eskamani who met her quota in January are calling on the State Department to extend the deadline.

If you’d like to listen to the story, click on the clips above.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »