As the fifth day of early voting gets underway, the Florida Division of Elections says Democrats have opened a significant lead over Republicans in total ballots cast, by a 48,600 margin. Overall, Democrats have 118,000 more early votes than the GOP. With the Nov. 6 election five days away, 30 percent of Florida voters have already cast ballots via absentee or early voting.
How have Dems built an early vote lead this year? In part through grass roots groups like the Florida New Majority, which has mobilized thousands of volunteers -- and now has created the best (OK only) Romney-zombiepocalypse ad of the season.
The ad, which was shot in a cheesy '80s horror B-movie style, warns citizens that the only way to stop the Romney virus is to get out and vote for Obama.
"We are one of the main lines in the get the vote effort for Obama," says Gihan Perera, Florida New Majority's executive director. "We are training thousands of people to get involved and stay involved. We think it is important not to treat elections like hurricanes that blow through every two, four years."
On a recent afternoon, a half-dozen middle-aged women of African-American and Hispanic descent gather pamphlets and flyers inside an old retail store building on 83rd Street and Biscayne Boulevard that serves as Florida New Majority's HQ. The goal, Perera says, is to turn out in force to counter the aggressive voter suppression campaign by the Republican Party in the state.
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On Saturday, the first day of early voting, the Florida New Majority brought in Rev. Al Sharpton to visit multiple precincts. The organization also mobilized street marches from local parks to early voting sites in Little Haiti and Liberty City. Earlier this week, the organization launched its Romney Zombie Apocolypse social media campaign centered around a short YouTube video that depicts Miami-Dade being overrun by flesh-eating Republican voters.