Ron DeSantis expands early voting, mail-in access for counties struck by Hurricane Ian

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an emergency executive order expanding mail-in ballot access and early voting in counties affected by Hurricane Ian.

Hurricane Ian devastated areas of southwest Florida, with the damage centering mainly on Sarasota, Lee and Charlotte counties. Tens of thousands of residents there are still displaced from their homes as recovery and reconstruction efforts are ongoing.

DeSantis’ order allows residents of those countries to request by phone that their mail-in ballots be sent to an address other than their residential address. It also expands the early voting period to begin on October 24 and end on Election Day, November 8.

Last, the order expands the pool of eligible poll workers in the county.

Florida is completing repairs at a brisk pace, with workers completing repairs on the destroyed Pine Island Bridge in just 3 days last week. The bridge, the only land access route to Pine Island, had been washed away in the storm.

Authorities also expect to complete repairs on the much longer Sanibel Island causeway by the end of October.

‘FDOT has already made tremendous progress on the temporary bridge to Pine Island,’ DeSantis said Wednesday as construction neared on the Pine Island project neared completion. ‘Now, I’ve asked them to work with Lee County to immediately begin work to provide temporary access and begin repairs to the Sanibel Causeway.’

‘Access to our barrier islands is a priority for our first responders and emergency services who have been working day and night to bring relief to all Floridians affected by Hurricane Ian,’ he added.

Ian was the fourth-strongest landfalling hurricane to strike Florida since data started being recorded. Roughly 2.5 million people across the state were without power in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

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