The long lines at Florida polling stations on November 6 have led the state’s top election official to recommend expanded early voting and shorter ballots. The suggestions, issued Monday by Secretary of State Ken Detzner, come after harsh criticism of Florida’s voting system, which was the subject of national attention even before long lines and reporting delays came to light after Election Day. While Detzner’s report indicated the 2012 general election “was a fair election as a whole,” the process “should be improved upon. The area for improvement most commonly mentioned was the length of lines at polling places, which were believed to have been caused by the record number of voters, a shortened early voting schedule, inadequate voting locations and a long ballot,” the report read.
Early voting should take place for a maximum of 14 days, Detzner recommended, and should occur on the Sunday before Election Day – a voting day that is popular with black voters. He also said voting locations should be expanded to include city halls, courthouses and public libraries.
Ballots were also too long in November, Detzner said, advising there should be a word count on legislative amendments put up for a vote.
Florida made headlines on Election Day after some waited in voting lines for hours at a time, even after the president had been declared the winner. The battleground state was also the last undecided state in the presidential contest. CNN projected that Obama won Florida on the Saturday following the Tuesday election.