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Florida secretary of state prioritizes elections changes

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Ken Detzner Sec of State FLFlorida Secretary of State Ken Detzner released a formal report Monday outlining problems and making recommendations for change after long lines and other snags marred the 2012 elections.

He listed three priority areas that could be addressed in the upcoming legislative session: extending early voting, expanding the definition of an early voting site and limiting the length of future ballots.

Detzner and a team of Department of State employees traveled throughout Florida, soliciting input from local elections officials and their staffs on how to improve Florida’s election system.

Most agreed the 2012 election was fair as a whole, but long lines, a shortened early voting schedule, inadequate voting locations and a long ballot needed addressing. The number of “in-person absentee” ballots cast also placed a burden on Election Day staff.

Gov. Rick Scott appeared receptive to Detzner’s recommendations in a statement issued by his office.

“This report details three key reforms our state needs to improve our election system and restore voter confidence,” Gov. Rick Scott said. “It recommends changing current law to shorten the length of the ballot, add more days for early voting – from eight to 14 days, including the option for supervisors of elections to open polls on the Sunday before Election Day, and increase the size of voting locations to better accommodate voters.”

“We knew that improvements needed to be made. Following the November election, many Floridians were frustrated with the inefficiencies, confusion, and delays they found at some voting locations,” Scott said. “Most counties did not experience any significant difficulties or delays. These recommendations by the Secretary of State are important reforms that can be done at the statewide level.”

Detzner also recommended county governments consider upgrading their voting equipment to meet voter needs.

See Detzner’s Recommendations for Increased Accessibility & Efficiency in Florida Elections.

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