Leaders in both major political parties agree changes must be made to Florida’s election laws, but they are far apart on how to fix the problems and who’s to blame for issues that arose in the 2012 election. A panel of Republicans and Democrats from the Legislature and from county supervisor of elections offices agreed this week that there must be longer periods for early voting and shorter amendments on ballots. They also said proposed fixes will be offered in the upcoming 2013 session of the Florida Legislature, which starts March 5. The panel was part of a pre-legislative seminar sponsored by The Associated Press, and while there was agreement that more days and more locations are needed for early voting, there was no agreement on who necessitated those changes.
In 2011, the Republican-controlled House and Senate and GOP Gov. Rick Scott approved shortening the number of days and locations for early voting and tightening registration restrictions, saying the moves were needed to protect against voter fraud.
But on Election Day, voters in some counties had to wait six hours to cast ballots. Florida once again was the last state to certify its election results, doing so days after President Barack Obama had been re-elected.