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2020 Election resources from the bishops of Florida

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TALLAHASSEE | In keeping with its mission, the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) aims to assist Catholics in active and responsible participation in political life. Each election cycle, the FCCB offers several resources to help the faithful with the obligation to make informed voting decisions. The bishops neither support nor oppose candidates and do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote. The responsibility to make political choices rests with each individual in light of a properly formed conscience.

Materials provided here are intended to be used alongside the U.S. bishops' teaching document on political responsibly, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States (English) | (Spanish).

All resources listed here are approved by the bishops of Florida for use in parish or diocesan publications and for posting online. For additional approved resources on political responsibility, see the websites of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops.

 

Candidate Questionnaire Project: Know Where the Candidates Stand

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The FCCB has invited all U.S. Congressional and Florida Legislative candidates to share their positions on ten public policy proposals that may come before lawmakers in the coming term. Candidates are offered the opportunity to state their positions as well as provide optional comments on each question. Candidate positions on issues are gathered for informational purposes only and are not used for endorsement of any candidate or political party.

Visit our website to view candidate responses.

 

Comparison of presidential candidates on issues of importance to Catholics

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To help inform voters before casting their ballots, the positions of the presidential candidates on a range of issues have been compiled from policies, public statements, official and campaign websites, and other resources. This document is but one tool to help Catholics prepare for the election and is not a substitute for individual research and study. The issues that appear do not represent a complete list of issues that may be of importance to Catholics.

View the Presidential Candidate Comparison in English or Spanish.

 

Amendment 2 - Increasing the Minimum Wage: Considerations as You Vote

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Floridians have the opportunity to vote this November on an amendment to the state Constitution that would increase the minimum wage to $10 per hour effective September 30, 2021. Each September 30 thereafter, the minimum wage would increase by $1 per hour until it reaches $15 per hour in 2026. From that point forward, the minimum wage shall be adjusted annually for inflation.

As Catholics prepare to vote on Amendment 2, FCCB offers points for consideration in English and Spanish.

 

Not liberal. Not conservative. Simply Catholic.

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We have a dual heritage as both faithful Catholics and American citizens. As Catholics, our baptismal commitment to bear public witness to the values of Jesus Christ requires our active participation in the democratic life of our nation. As Americans, we have a serious moral obligation to vote.

This bulletin insert in English and Spanish is intended as a starting point to help us respond to our choices in the current political landscape.

 

Catholics Across the Aisle Podcast: Political Responsibility Episodes Available

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Two new episodes of the FCCB's podcast, Catholics Across the Aisle: Commentary on Public Policy and Civic Life, focus on our responsibilities at the intersection of faith and politics.

In the first episode, Michael Sheedy, FCCB executive director, and Michele Taylor, associate director for communications, delve into the U.S. bishops' document Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. The two discuss formation of conscience for participation in political life, pitfalls and difficult decisions for Catholic voters as they prepare to cast their ballots, and the polarization that too often permeates our politics.

In a second election-related podcast, the Candidate Questionnaire Project is covered in detail, including a review of the 10-question surveys for Congressional and Legislative candidates, how FCCB staff go about obtaining responses from candidates, and what you will find on the FCCB's webpage dedicated to the project.

Both episodes are available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.

 

Election & Political Activities Guide: A Resource for Pastors and Parishes 

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Catholic clergy and laity are encouraged to facilitate the involvement of their faith communities in appropriate election-related activities. Due to increased efforts by candidates, committees, and politically-minded entities to win Florida and Catholic voters, it is important to be aware of specific guidelines that Church entities and representatives are urged to follow. For example, parishes or persons representing the Church in official capacities are not to distribute any materials that are not approved by the local diocesan bishop or the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB), or made available through the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

For further guidance on parish and ministry involvement in political activity, see the Election & Political Activities Guide available in English and Spanish.

 

Important election dates

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The following are key election dates provided by the Florida Division of Elections.

  • Oct. 19: Early voting begins in some counties.
  • Oct. 24: Early voting available statewide. Check with your county Supervisor of Elections for early voting dates, times and locations.
  • Vote-by-Mail: Oct. 24 by 5 p.m. (local time) is the deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot. 
  • Vote-by-mail ballots must be returned and received no later than 7 p.m. (local time) on election day (Nov. 3) in order to be counted. To ensure that ballots are received by the deadline, voters are encouraged to vote and return their voted ballots as soon as received or early enough to account for mail delivery times. The United States Postal Service recommends that domestic nonmilitary voters mail back their voted ballots at least one week before the Election Day deadline to account for any unforeseen events or weather issues.
  • Vote-by-mail ballots may also be returned at secure drop boxes at Supervisor of Elections’ main and branch offices and early voting sites. Please contact the county Supervisor of Elections or visit their website for the location of all vote-by-mail ballot secure drop boxes in your county.
  • Nov. 3: General Election Day.

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