The Republicans and Democrats who make up the island’s Miracle on the Key group want you to know everything possible about this election season, so they’ve planned a public forum next week to do just that.
There will be no speeches or endorsements.
Not a word about liberals or conservatives.
Nobody will tell you for whom to vote.
And they don’t want you hearing all of this from some lady in line at Publix, some radio talk show of dubious authenticity or that guy named Phil you play golf with sometimes.
That’s why at 11 a.m. on July 13 at Temple Beth Israel, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner will be the group’s guest in a free and open-to-the-public event designed to cut through the politics of the season and get right to what to expect for the primaries in August and elections beyond.
Among the expected topics: status of mailed-in ballots and drop off boxes, rules on signatures, who can vote and who can’t.
“We don’t want voters to be lost,’’ said Becky van der Bogert, a member of the group that formed in 2021 as a way to help bridge the views of local residents on all points on the political spectrum through discussions and an examination of the common ground on which they do stand.
Both van der Bogert and Lynn Larson, another member of the group, said Miracle on the Key has reached a point where chatting with one another or even sending out the occasional letter to the editor just isn’t enough.
The public event, co-sponsored by the temple and Longboat Key’s Paradise Center, will also have a Zoom teleconferencing component. All involved said they hope it’s the next step in accomplishing a mission of moving past political labels into ideas based on cooperation.
In other words, “expand each others minds instead of shutting down each other’s ideas,’’ Larsen said.
Both women said inviting Turner to speak was a natural, especially this time of year when more and more television commercials end with “. . . and I approved this message.’’
“Everyone trusts Ron,’’ Larson said.
Turner was elected to his Sarasota County office in 2016 and was re-elected in 2020. Before that, he was the chief of staff in the Supervisor of Elections office. At age 23, he was elected to the Arcadia city council and became deputy mayor and eventually supervisor of elections for DeSoto County.
In addition to Turner’s planned presentation, Larsen and van der Bogert said there will be time for both in-person questions and questions from those watching the proceedings remotely.