In ancient times, before 2000, Florida elections supervisors had profiles lower than mob guys in witness protection. Then came the butterfly ballot and Bush vs. Gore and the realization that not just anyone can run an election – or at least run an election well. Palm Beach County is on its third elections supervisor since then and next year may have a fourth. Meanwhile, the Legislature has made two major revisions in how the state conducts elections and another big change designed to make voter registration harder. Point being, the workings of elections never have been under more scrutiny. Sadly, 12 years after the biggest election fiasco in U.S. history, Palm Beach County remains unable to produce a string of trouble-free elections, no matter who is in charge. Theresa LePore’s 2000 ballot brought her a challenge from fellow Democrats in 2004. She lost to Arthur Anderson, a former school board chairman who had no experience with elections or technology. Mr. Anderson presided over a reign of error.
During his four years, the supervisor’s website incorrectly reported early results of a mayoral election in West Palm Beach, twice did not include the number of precincts counted with the number of votes and mysteriously “found” almost 700 votes three days after a city election. Mr. Anderson lost in the 2008 Democratic primary, and the county sent in a competent caretaker to steer the office through the presidential election.
Former state legislator Susan Bucher beat Mr. Anderson in that primary. She also had no election experience aside from running for office. In 2010, Palm Beach County’s results trailed by hours those from the rest of the state in the governor’s race that was decided by roughly 1 percent. Last month, the office mistakenly certified two “winners” in the Wellington election who really had lost. Ms. Bucher quickly ducked any blame, which may hurt her more than the error itself. The state’s report on the Wellington debacle is due this week.
Full Article: Schultz: Only spotlight for elections supervisors is harsh.