Florida supervisors need more flexibility in the days and locations they can set up elections, highlights the message from Secretary of State Ken Detzner on a vast number of changes needed to improve voting in Florida. Certain unnamed supervisors failed — Detzner charged in his review of the 2012 contest — to “prepare effectively and it reflected poorly on the entire state.” ‘One county or precinct that does not properly serve its voters does a disservice for the entire state and has the potential to cloud the positive steps taken by the rest of the state to conduct an accessible and efficient election,” Detzner stated without making any recommendation on any officeholder. “Supervisors of elections and county commissions must take it upon themselves to oversee elections through responsible leadership and efficient administration.”
In his anticipated 12-page report back to Gov. Rick Scott, Detzner noted that what can be easily handled by some smaller counties doesn’t fit for larger counties such as Palm Beach or Miami-Dade.
Detzner also put part of the blame for the long lines and delayed results on the unusual length of the ballots, created by legislators putting 11 constitutional amendments before voters that were limited to the 75-word cap.
Among his recommended changes: allow mail ballots for certain special district elections; amend a number of the early voting limits imposed after the 2010 election; and cap the number of words legislators can use for their own constitutional amendments.
“I can confidently say Florida conducted a fair election in 2012. But I am just as confident we can improve upon the election, because every election can be improved upon,” Detzner stated in his report.
“Technology changes, needs change, voter behavior changes and experience encourages more innovation. In 2013, Florida can make the right adjustments again because it is what Florida voters expect, need and deserve. Voter confidence must be restored.”