Groups pushing people to early vote in Florida

Posted at 10:29 PM, Oct 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-24 05:58:55-04

Early voting starts in many Florida counties Monday. That's why some groups are out making the rounds, encouraging voters to get to the polls.

With hands raised in worship, A group of Christians gathered for Sunday night services. The message was all about the Christian responsibility to vote in this election.

"The thing that you cannot do is not vote at all.  In our view, that's a sin for a free American, with this wonderful right that many people in the world don't have, to just cast it aside. You just can't do that," said Bishop E.W. Jackson with the STAND Foundation.

Bishop Jackson's group is crossing through five battleground states, including Florida, in the coming days.  The tour is stressing that every vote matters and for each person to take advantage of the opportunities to start making your voice heard, when early voting begins Monday.

"Don't wait.  Get out there and vote right now. Get out and help select the people that will serve them in government," said Jackson.

By some estimates, 25 million evangelical voters stayed home in the 2012 presidential election. And experts say both candidates are concerned Christians and other voters might be so unhappy with their choices, they'll sit this one out, too. Those are all reasons we're seeing a lot of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in our area.  Both candidates are planning campaign stops in the Sunshine State Monday.

"That tells me they're concerned about voter turnout. Eight-one million dollars is being spent on advertising in Florida. So if you think you're seeing more ads than anybody else in the country, you are," said Dr. Susan McManus, USF professor and ABC Action News political analyst.

Many voters turning out to service at Church of God Pentecostal in Tampa Sunday night are now more convinced after an election pep talk, that expressing their values through their votes, is needed.

"If we don't do something right now, what's going to happen to our kids and grandkids later on?  It's going to be sad to what's already happening now," said Robert Sanchez.

"I know that if unite, we can make a difference in the United States," said Lisa Rivera.