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Democrats double down on vote-by-mail push in Florida’s Haitian communities

Election campaigners and voting rights advocates hoping to reach Haitian-Americans across Florida said they are focused on getting people to vote by mail due to COVID-19 and educating them about the voting process in the lead-up to the elections.

Much of their focus is on Haitian enclaves like Little Haiti and North Miami, which make up a significant portion of the 107,654 total registered voters in their county’s commission district. In those neighborhoods, community organizations like FANM are sending out canvassers to remind residents about ballot deadlines, answer questions about the process and assuage fears about voting. And they are doing so in Haitian Creole to engage the electorate.

“If we continue to educate voters and encourage them to vote by mail, I think that people will come out, especially given what’s at stake nationally,” said Marleine Bastien, FANM’s executive director. “We’ve realized that a lot of people in our community do not know how to vote. We take voter engagement very seriously, especially now.”

Larisa Karr

Larisa is a New York-based reporter who has worked in different countries for various publications. She majored in mass communication and international studies and minored in photography at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. In 2018, she moved to NYC to study international reporting at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. She has worked in the U.S., Canada, and Serbia, covering everything from the 2017 Women's March to persecution of journalists in Turkey. In addition to writing, she enjoys street photography and hosted two radio shows while pursuing her undergraduate degree. She is passionate about traveling and her three cats, Leo, Lady, and Caesar.
Sep. 19, 2020