With the 2016 presidential election on the horizon and the ghosts of elections past still haunting it, you would think Florida would have an acute sense for ensuring its voting processes are working as smoothly and efficiently as a Ferrari engine. A recent report, though, indicates the state still is operating like a ’74 Gremlin. The state auditor general, an independent officer hired by the Legislature, recently identified seven weaknesses with Florida’s voter registration system, a computerized database of voter information. … To summarize, the state’s voter database is at risk of failing and/or being compromised. That would make for some potentially chaotic voting scenarios in a high-stakes national election — everything from valid registered voters being denied the opportunity to cast a ballot, to allegations of voter fraud. Hanging chads would seem quaint by comparison.
… Secretary of State Ken Detzner, whose office is charged with administering elections, didn’t dispute the auditor’s report and instead responded with a list of ways the department is working to resolve the problems. That’s encouraging, although the ongoing hiccups and setbacks with Florida’s electoral system long ago became frustrating. Will they never end
More troubling, though, was the reaction by some of the county supervisors of elections across the state. In a letter to Detzner, Brian Corley, the Pasco County supervisor of elections who is president of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections, criticized the secretary and his office for failing to communicate with the supervisors, the ground troops who are tasked with carrying out state election policies. In particular, Corley complained that at a meeting last month with the secretary to discuss the voter registration system, Detzner did not share the results of the audit even though he already had responded to it a month earlier.