For Immediate Release
Monday, February 4, 2013
Contact: Chris Cate
Press Release Regarding: Secretary of State Ken Detzner Makes Recommendations for Increasing Accessibility and Efficiency in Florida Elections
Recommendations include extending early voting, adding early voting sites and limiting ballot length
Tallahassee, Florida –
Secretary of State Ken Detzner today released his recommendations for increasing accessibility and efficiency in Florida elections. The recommendations, which include extending the early voting schedule, adding new and larger early voting sites and limiting ballot length, were made after Governor Rick Scott tasked Secretary Detzner with seeking out and receiving input from elections experts throughout the state on how to improve Florida elections.
"Voter confidence in Florida's election system must be restored," said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. "It was very clear after the 2012 General Election that our elections needed to be run more efficiently, and after meeting with elections experts throughout the state, I am confident that we have identified the right adjustments to ensure our system is improved."
After evaluating and giving strong consideration to the ideas presented to him by elections experts throughout Florida, and also based on his own experience and knowledge as Florida's chief election officer, Secretary Detzner made the following recommendations for Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature to consider as a means to improve the accessibility and efficiency in Florida elections:
- Extend the early voting schedule from a minimum of 8 days to a maximum of 14 days, while also allowing supervisors of elections the flexibility to offer early voting on the Sunday immediately prior to Election Day.
- Expand the allowable locations of early voting sites at government owned, managed or occupied facilities to include the main or branch office of a supervisor of elections, a city hall, courthouse, county commission building, public library, civic center, convention center, fairgrounds or stadium, which will benefit voters by increasing the size of early voting locations and improve their indoor occupancy and outdoor parking availability.
- Set a word limit for proposed legislative amendments.
- Repeal statutes allowing the full text (stricken or underlined) of a constitutional amendment or revision to be placed on a ballot.
- Allow mail ballot elections for candidates in special district elections.
Furthermore, Secretary Detzner suggests county governments strongly consider making the necessary voting equipment upgrades to meet current voter needs. He also suggests supervisors of elections re-evaluate their 2012 General Election precincts, upload votes earlier in elections to test county systems, establish best practices and ensure contracts with their vendors have safeguards to ensure the warranty, maintenance and upgrading of voting equipment.
The full report of the Secretary’s findings and recommendations can be read here.