How Florida Is Preparing For The Presidential Elections; The State's Unemployment System

Sep 4, 2020

 


 

On Friday’s program, we discussed how Florida is preparing to vote in the presidential election during the pandemic. One of the areas we focused on was vote-by-mail.

 

 

By the time Election Day arrives on November 3, millions of Floridians will have already voted by mail.

 

Coronavirus-related safety concerns have been contributing to this year’s increase in vote-by-mail participants. In fact, more than four million people requested vote-by-mail ballots in the Florida Primary election, and more than two million of those ballots were returned. 

 

We spoke with:

 

 

Florida's Unemployment System

 

We also discussed the latest on the state’s unemployment system.

 

Ken Lawson, secretary for the Florida Deaprtment of Economic Opportunity, recently resigned. Prior to his resignation, Lawson faced criticism as Floridians struggled to access unemployment benefits during the pandemic.

 

The system to apply for benefits became overwhelmed and crashed frequently. Applicants spent hours on the phone trying to reach DEO staff for assistance. Many qualified applicants’ benefits were never paid out fully, or at all.

 

We spoke with POLITICO reporter Matt Dixon about Lawson’s resignation, the status of unemployment benefits, and FEMA’s grant, which includes an extra $300 a week in benefits. 

 

Florida House Rep. Anna Eskamani, a Democrat from Orlando, who has been a critic of the state’s unemployment system, also joined us with her thoughts on the subject.

 

Katherine Hobbs can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.