Seminole County Elections Supervisor Michael Ertel says an election law cracking down on third-party voter registration groups may have the effect of making it harder for people to register at high schools.
So on Thursday, he’s getting around the potential problem by swearing in every high school principal in the county as “deputy” election supervisors.
The problem is this: Ertel says between 15 and 20 percent of high school students who register to vote don’t have either their driver’s license or Social Security numbers on them when they go in to fill out the registration form.
Election offices in the past have allowed students to take the forms with them and return them at school when they’re filled out. But the new election crack-down, HB1355, prohibits anyone from gathering voter-registration forms unless they’re with the election supervisor’s office or registered with the state as a third-party registration group.
“I don’t think the legislature foresaw that the new law would have this potential impact on registration among the next generation of voters,” Ertel said Wednesday in a release, ”but fortunately, we’ve found a way to allow the schools to follow the law, while not creating a timeline roadblock for our students.”
The swearing-in will happen at 10 a.m. Thursday at Hagerty High in Oviedo.