JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Long ballots, long lines, and fewer early voting days - just some of the key problems for Florida's election process this year.
And now just one day after Governor Rick Scott said Florida needs to seriously consider changes to election laws, WOKV is hearing that’s already happening.
Duval Elections Supervisor Jerry Holland said he and other Florida supervisors met with Secretary of State Ken Detzner to go over possible changes.
“We were trying to identify the top priorities,” Holland said.
Early Voting Days
Holland said they're considering ten early voting days rather than eight, but it doesn't look like the Sunday before Election Day will come back.
He said it’s “so critical” that they end voting the Saturday before Election Day.
“We have to process so much information to make sure that the local precincts know who’s already voted and to make sure no one double votes, and all that information has to be done.
“So right now our consensus is to end it on Saturday but still have a Sunday of voting ten days prior to the election,” Holland said.
Holland pointed out that prior to the last law change, only twelve of the 67 Florida counties conducted voting on the Sunday prior to the election.
Early Voting Sites
Holland said they’re considering allowing counties to use additional facilities as early voting sites.
“We kinda maxed out here in Duval County with seventeen early voting sites,” Holland said.
“But we’re limited because the libraries that are left are so small that we really need to look at civic, our community centers and those kind of things to really expand early voting even more.”
They’re considering limiting the amount of words on legislative amendments, according to Jerry Holland.
This year voters were faced with a lengthy ballot comprised of two pages, both front and back.
“Even the amendments that are done by the legislature should be limited to seventy-five words,” Holland said. That would’ve curtailed, for many of us, having an additional page which takes a lot more time in the voting process.”
Holland said the supervisors know that many of the counties – including Duval and Miami-Dade – were still on paper registers.
“Which is kind of antiquated,” he said. “It slows up the voting process.”
He said it makes the post-election process slower because it takes longer to go through the papers and give voters credit.
“We recognized also that we all need to be having the highest technology so that we can use and make the election process a lot more efficient.
“So that got a thumbs-up also from the Secretary of State.”
Holland said they’re going to be meeting back with the Secretary of State during the second week of January. He said Detzner will then put together a legislative package comprised of legislative changes recommended by the supervisors. That package will then go to the legislature in the next session.
“I think they’re focused on how can we make sure Florida is one that everyone can be proud of after the next election,” Holland said.