A Miami-Dade Elections Department employee tallies absentee ballot reports in Doral, Fla., Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012. Elections Supervisor Penelope Townsley says the agency has �no more than 500� ballots to count Thursday. Elections workers are uploading some 21,000 ballots into the system today after uploading 10,000 on Wednesday.(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
There were some things that went right, and some that went very wrong.
And this week, we will see what changes will be made.
Supervisors of Elections from around Florida are speaking before the Florida House and Senate early this week about the past election cycle. Collectively, the Supervisors have already put together a packet of legislative proposals for lawmakers to consider this year, and now is the chance to air all of that out.
“Why were we successful, and what else can we do statewide to make Florida elections successful in all 67 counties,” says Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland.
Holland says Duval is considered one of the better performers from the last election, and he hopes to shed some light on what he thinks caused that success in order to help low-performers.
“We recognized the importance, we saw what we needed to do and responded to it quicker than some of the other counties,” he says.
One of the key things they responded, or adapted, to was the length of the ballot. Holland says they recognized it would take time for voters to get through the ballot, and subsequently beefed up the polling locations where they expected the most voters.
Early voting was also a big strength for the county.
“We had more early voting sites per capita than any other county in the state,” he says.
The number of early voting sites was second only to Miami-Dade, a county with about twice the voting population of Duval according to Holland. Expanding the number and type of early voting sites allowed is another legislative request.
One of the biggest changes he thinks needs to happen across most counties in the state deals with technology. Holland says paper registers are holding Florida back, and we need to move instead to electronic poll books.
“That will also prevent cases of potential fraud, and that also will speed up the process of reporting before the final certification,” he says.
Holland thinks it’s a good time to take up these issues because lawmakers are interested in turning around the state’s elections reputation.