With just a month to go until the midterm elections, politics is moving into the heart of Wilton Drive.
A new Get Out The Vote (GOTV) Center is a joint effort between the Dolphin Democrats and the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus and will be the only LGBTQ+ GOTV Center in Florida.
It will be located at 2348 Wilton Drive, right across the street from The Manor.
“They can register to vote. They can pick up yard signs. We can tell them where to go vote early. At the same time it’s to hold rallies,” Democratic activist Michael Albetta said.
Oct. 8 is national women’s rally and organizers hope to have the local rally at the GOTV Center.
Organizers have been trying for a few weeks to find a spot located on The Drive, and this week, Jeffery Selzer of Selzer Law Firm helped set them up in the new space, which once was the PAC Pastries.
The center already has signs in the windows and hopes to have a grand opening this weekend. With the election so close, there will be no days off. The center will operate every day until election day. Hours are 2-9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays, and noon until 7 p.m. on Sundays. This is an opportunity to put politics front and center for LGBT community members who don’t usually pay much attention.
“One primary goal is to educate voters on the candidates who are supportive of issues important to LGBTQ+ voters including women's rights, trans rights, immigrants and the economy,” political activist Bud Beehler said.
The first goal is registering people to vote. The last day to register is Oct. 11. After that, they’ll stock a variety of yard signs, window signs and bumper stickers for local and state candidates. “We will request donations for these items,” Beehler said.
“Additionally, we'll have for sale buttons, label pins and t-shirts. We'll also have voters' guides on hand as well as QR codes to websites.”
Boosting enthusiasm is key after lackluster turnout in the August primaries. Mail-in ballots are already arriving for those who are registered. Early voting runs Oct. 24 through Nov. 6 and voting day is Nov. 8.
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