Gillum launches voter-registration campaign

Gillum launches voter-registration campaign
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Former Tallahassee Mayor and Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum on Wednesday launched a voter-registration campaign to try to turn the key battleground state in Democrats' favor in the 2020 presidential election.

Gillum officially launched Bring It Home Florida in Miami Gardens on Wednesday evening. The group, named after his signature campaign slogan, is being promoted as a grassroots organization that "empowers everyday people to fight for Florida’s future."

Bring It Home Florida seeks to boost voter registration in the state in order to help elect Democrats to local, state and federal offices.

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“Are you ready to flip Florida blue? Better yet, are y’all ready to flip the United States of America blue?” Gillum asked the crowd during the launch.

“I just can’t wait for the image of us rolling them right on out of the White House and back to whatever planet they may have come from and rolling in whoever the Democratic nominee, and I mean whoever the Democratic nominee is for president of the United States," he said. "We have the ability to do that, Florida.”

Gillum called on Floridians to urge other voters to join their efforts.

“It is time up for showing up on a voter’s doorstep three weeks before an election. It is time up for waiting until we get into an election year or waiting for a nominee to get to the hard work of registering and engaging voters,” he said.

“It requires that we get out there and that we organize and that we activate and that we produce a voter who is going to show up not just on Election Day, but on the day after they’re going to be there to hold you accountable. That’s the kind of voter that we have to create.”

The former gubernatorial candidate pointed to a referendum that passed in November's midterm elections granting ex-felons the right to vote. 

“Y’all importantly, because we turned out and voted like our lives depended on it, 1.4 million people now have the ability to register to vote here in the state of Florida. That’s a big deal,” Gillum said.

“We have an opportunity in the state of Florida in November of 2020 of not only enlisting and registering a million more voters, but in a state that is won and lost by 1 percent, or maybe less in my case … don’t you think if we can put 2 million new voters on the table, what that will mean for the future of the state of Florida?” he continued.

Viewed as one of the nation’s most crucial swing states, Florida is notorious for its razor-thin margins in some of the most high-profile elections. President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE defeated then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces DHS cyber agency to prioritize election security, Chinese threats ABC chose a debate moderator who hates Trump MORE in the Sunshine State by just over one point in 2016. Gillum lost a closely watched race to then-Rep. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisFlorida first lady to miss Women for Trump event due to planned execution Florida governor orders criminal investigation into handling of Jeffrey Epstein case Groups ask court to block ex-felon voting law in Florida MORE (R) by less than half a percentage point in 2018.  

Gillum's launch, first reported by Politico, comes the same day the Florida Democratic Party announced it would commit $2 million to register 200,000 voters ahead of the 2020 presidential primary, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

According to the paper, Democrats said they have identified as many as 4 million Floridians who are eligible but not registered to vote. The party aims to partner with data science firms and hire organizers as part of its effort to increase the number of voting Democrats in the state.