Here is why we can’t lower candidate signature requirements this year in Florida

Obviously, the Coronavirus pandemic has essentially freezed all campaigning in Florida and most of the country. Because of this, members from both parties in the state want to lower the candidate petition signature requirement that would allow them to get on the ballot (story HERE).

We can’t do it.

Why?

It really should have been done by now.

It’s April. Any campaign that had a serious petition gathering strategy would have had it done by now.

The first thing any campaign manager or consultant will tell you to do after you file the papers to run for office and set up the bank account, is to get petitions and raise money.

These requirements are safeguards to ensure “the pretenders” stay away from “the contenders”. There are tourists candidates that will file to run for office simply because it’s fun. We get them every election cycle.

Second, and most importantly, it’s a sign of strength from the campaign. I admire campaigns that qualify by petition. This is hard work and a demonstration that you have been out talking to the people and that there is a hunger for a change.

Or you can stroke a check and get on the ballot. At least you’re not afraid to ask for money (you’d be surprised how many candidates are). Still, it’s a demonstration that you’re serious and not just playing games with our time.

If you’re a candidate that has been stopped by the Coronavirus, you should already be leading. You should be acting like you already have the job and following the advice of local officials and passing it on to supporters.

One thing you can’t be doing now is making excuses. Pay the fee. But don’t ask for a rule change because you didn’t hit the street hard enough when you started your campaign. This year is not the first year election year politics have been hit by catastrophe.

If not, there is always 2022. And that election year scenario is already looking like a much more intriguing scene.

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