League of Women Voters chapter in Sarasota County launches get-out-the-vote campaign ahead of Aug. 20 Primary Election

Statistics point to low turnout, but critically important races to be on ballot, League stresses

This is the homepage banner on the website of the League of Women Voters of Sarasota County.

The League of Women Voters of Sarasota County is kicking off a get-out-the-vote campaign, it has announced.

“The August 2024 primary is a critical election for our community,” the League points out in a news release. “However, not all races are primaries,” the release continues. “Aug. 20 is likely to be the final election” not only for two Sarasota County School Board members (all voters countywide will be able to participate in that August primary), but also for a Sarasota County Commission seat (District 1 voters only), with voters of any party eligible to vote, the release adds.

The get-out-the-vote campaign has been designed to reach “snowbirds,” who are registered to vote in Florida, as well as full-time residents, the release notes. This “nonpartisan, multimedia outreach will be delivered in English and Spanish,” the release says.

The League hopes the campaign will “eliminate confusion regarding who can vote” and provide citizens “the information they need to register to vote and renew their vote-by-mail status,” the release continues.

Many voters are unaware that vote-by-mail requests made prior to the Nov. 8, 2022 General Election must be renewed, the release notes.

“Historically, the August primary has had low voter turnout,” the release points out. In 2022, only 36% of eligible voters participated. “Consequently, the winners were elected by just 19% of those qualified to vote,” the release notes.

For the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Board, only 26% of voters participated in the August 2022 primary, the release adds.

“There’s too much at stake in the August election to have just a sliver of our residents take part. That’s why we are launching the

most ambitious and comprehensive educational outreach plan in our history,” said Shawn Bartelt, president of the League of Women Voters of Sarasota County, in the release.