Florida's role in national elections as one of the "battleground states" will once again put us in the spotlight as we commence the 2020 Election Cycle. Pasco's role as a member county of the infamous I4 corridor will draw national attention, as well as our reputation for being a bellwether county. As a state with a reputation of being one of the heavy hitters, what is it about Florida that makes us such an important contender?
Because our Presidential Preference Primary is one of the early primaries, we are by default forced into the forefront. Florida is the third largest state in the country behind California and Texas. Our 29 electoral votes and the sheer number of our population, both our densely populated urban areas and our vast rural areas, makes us strategically important to national campaigns. We are the largest and first swing state in our nation which puts us in a position to "shift the balance" and influence election outcomes. Another contributing factor is that neither major party can claim a significant state advantage based on registration numbers alone, and voters claiming No Party Affiliation are growing in number.
Most presidential election years are emotionally charged, and this one is on track to be more charged than ever. A major concern for the 2020 election cycle is the continued misuse and manipulation of social media. The threat of elections interference for nefarious gain is something that keeps me up at night. Seeds of propaganda and untruths are spread by millions of American voters who unknowingly share, like and retweet these messages. With all eyes upon us, let us be united in our efforts to stop those who wish to undermine our democracy. Before you "Retweet," "Like" or "Share" something relating to voting and elections, please be sure it's accurate information. If you are in doubt, call us at 800-851-8754 or check our website, PascoVotes.gov. Election security is in everyone's best interest, and we stand ready to assist!