Decide the Date Sarasota Petition Campaign receives Sarasota NAACP endorsement

SARASOTA, Fla. (Jan. 8, 2018) Decide the Date Sarasota, a petition campaign to empower city of Sarasota residents with the decision on whether they want to move general city elections from spring to fall has been endorsed by the Sarasota NAACP.

President of the Sarasota County Branch of the NAACP, Trevor D. Harvey, says the group fully endorses the Decide the Date campaign to place the charter-changing question on the ballot that would move municipal elections from March and May of odd-numbered years to August and November of even-numbered years to coincide with gubernatorial, presidential and congressional races.

“Voter turnout is consistently higher in November,” Harvey said. “Not only does this save taxpayers money, it also increases the overall participation in the African-American community by 86 percent.”

If implemented, the shift to August and November elections is anticipated to help raise voter turnout for the city’s minority residents. According to data obtained from the Sarasota Supervisor of Elections, 3.99 percent of African Americans came out to vote compared to 9.7 percent in November 2016. Voter participation among Hispanics also went up in the fall. In May, 1.98 percent of registered Hispanics cast their votes compared to the 5.55 percent turnout in November.

Moving municipal races to the regular fall election cycle would also save city taxpayers almost $100,000 every cycle.

“We are proud to have earned the endorsement of Sarasota NAACP. They are powerful advocates for equality and civil rights in our community and the electoral process,” said Larry Eger, co-chair of Decide the Date.

About the NAACP:

With over 2,000 volunteer branches nationwide, the NAACP has been a leading force for equality, committed to raising awareness for political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens in the electoral process. Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the oldest and largest grassroots-based civil rights organization in the country. The Sarasota NAACP is a local unit of the NAACP. For more information about Sarasota NAACP, visit sarasotacounty.naacp-fl.org.

About Decide the Date Sarasota:

Decide the Date is a bipartisan, grassroots coalition of local volunteers, business owners, and organizations formed to address the low voter turnout in the city elections. Larry Eger, a longtime Sarasota resident and elected public defender for the 12th Judicial Circuit, is serving as co-chair of the grassroots effort along with former two-term City of Sarasota Mayor Suzanne Atwell. For more information, or to download the petition, visit www.DecideTheDate.com.