Candidate Spotlight: Chad Klitzman
All year long, we’re introducing you to our most creative and dedicated 2020 candidates in our new Candidate Spotlight!
Meet Chad Klitzman, running for Broward County Supervisor of Elections in Florida! Chad intends to modernize and restore integrity to the Broward County elections operation. He started his campaign by personally driving 4,000 miles to visit every elections office in Florida to find best practices to bring back home. Learn more about Chad’s amazing campaign below!
Hi Chad! Tell us, what inspired you to run for office?
When we vote, we need to feel confident our vote counts. There is a crisis in confidence in Broward County as the result of decades of missteps and media scrutiny, and I could not watch from the sidelines as confidence in something as fundamental as the elections operation continued to erode. So, as a lifelong voting rights activist, I left my job at one of the world’s best law firms to come home to Broward and modernize the elections operation.
There is so much more the office could be doing to educate the community, increase voter registration and streamline internal processes, and I look forward to using my education and experience (including time spent in the Obama White House) to usher the operation into the 21st Century. We also just need someone in this job with the energy and enthusiasm to get people excited about voting.
What issue is most pressing in your community and how do you plan on remedying it?
With respect to the elections office, we need uniformity in process. This means that every function of the office — from voter registration to a recount — needs a corresponding procedure, manual or checklist so that members of the public can hold the office accountable. If we have uniformity in process, we will improve transparency and accountability, thereby improving voter confidence.
How has the COVID-19 outbreak affected your campaign and your community, especially in Florida?
Prior to COVID-19, I was knocking on about 1,000 doors per week. Now that I cannot leave my house, I am working the phone lines and texting folks — not only advocating for my candidacy but also encouraging people to sign up to vote by mail given the uncertainty with respect to the upcoming elections.
COVID-19 has heavily impacted the South Florida community. The economic toll is severe given the nature of our economy and our sizable senior population puts many folks at very high risk. While I am staying indoors, I am making sure to check in with seniors when I reach out to them to make sure they are doing okay amidst this time of turmoil. I am also sharing COVID-19 resources on my social media platforms.
As you’ve been meeting with voters in your community, what is something new that you learned?
People really, really love “I Voted!” stickers. For many people, it is their favorite part of the electoral process. I cannot say I disagree with them. As such, I have publicly called for “I Voted!” stickers to be included with vote by mail ballots.
If you could change one thing in politics today what would it be?
Big money in politics — and this could be done by overturning the Citizens United Supreme Court decision (or through a constitutional amendment). So many of the issues we face as a society could be solved if corporations, political committees and the like were unable to make unlimited political contributions.
What is one takeaway you’d like to leave your constituents with?
Chad won’t leave your vote hanging! My slogan has many meanings. First, many people associate my name with the drama that took place back in 2000 with respect to the “hanging Chad” that ultimately decided the presidential election. But more importantly, my slogan encapsulates how many folks in Broward County feel — and I am committed to changing that.