After one of the most contentious midterms in state history, House Democrats are preparing a package of election reforms to extend voting deadlines, standardize election processes across counties and improve the signature matching process ahead of the 2020 elections. But Republican leaders have suggested such reforms are not high on their priority list going into next year’s session. In a wide-ranging Wednesday morning workshop, Democrats batted around several proposals including adjusting voting and registration deadlines, eliminating prohibitions on counting early votes and requiring signature-matching training for supervisors and canvassing boards. Democrats also raised the possibility of alternative means of verifying voters’ identities — like using the last four digits of Social Security numbers — and pushing supervisors to update old voting equipment to minimize counting delays.
“We want a reliable election system … and to send a message to the country that Florida will stand as a beacon of hope as it relates to voting change,” said Minority Leader Kionne McGhee, D-Miami, in a press conference after the workshop. “If our elections system is questionable, then one has to admit our democracy becomes questionable.”
But Democratic lawmakers also shied away from explicitly criticizing the performance of some election supervisors, particularly those in Broward and Palm Beach, where delays prompted several lawsuits over the razor-thin margins in the race.