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Elections, McDonalds and immediate gratification

by Dara Kam | December 4th, 2012

Four weeks after the presidential election, a Senate committee began delving into what went wrong in Florida.

A host of potential culprits include the media, select county elections supervisors, stingy county commissions and possibly the legislature itself, according to testimony from Secretary of State Ken Detzner, Ron Labasky – the general counsel of the state supervisors of elections association – and Pasco County Elections Supervisor Brian Corley.

Detzner said he will meet next week with supervisors he’s targeted as “underperforming” because of lengthy waits during early voting and on Election Day and other problems he did not identify. Those counties are: Lee, Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and St. Lucie, he said. The supervisors from those counties will also be called to appear before the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee, chairman Jack Latvala, R-St. Petersburg, said today.

Latvala said the committee may hold public hearings in South Florida sometime in January.

One senator proposed giving Detzner more authority to suspend county supervisors, pointing to problems experienced in Palm Beach County without identifying PBC by name.

“We heard a lot of complaints regarding a ballot…they were making copies of ballots because they were originally wrong,” said Sen. Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando. “I’m all for independence and local control…But…at what point is there an intervention? If it becomes so apparent that a county has not made the appropriate decisions or the ballots were sent out wrong…There’s really no recourse.”

But Latvala, a veteran legislator, said later that the governor already has the authority to remove a supervisor for wrongdoing, recalling that Gov. Jeb Bush once suspended a Broward County elections supervisor.

Latvala said he didn’t think the committee would likely give Detzner more power, but said that some counties repeatedly have problems.

“if the shoe fits, Palm Beach County should wear it,” he said.

Committee members frequently used McDonald’s or other restaurants as an example of how election should be run.

But Sen. Tom Lee, a former Senate president elected in November, posed a critical question.

“What is an acceptable length of time for somebody to wait to vote?”

Detzner said he would know what an acceptable time is if he ran a restaurant and his customers left.

“If people have to wait too long to vote, they may go home and not vote,” he said.

Detzner complimented the voters who waited in line and were “civil” and had political conversations while biding their time.

“It was a wonderful thing to see people having that kind of dialogue,” he said. “But to wait in line four or five or six hours is unacceptable.”

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11 Responses to “Elections, McDonalds and immediate gratification”

  1. Gordon Solie Says:

    What went wrong was the idiot GOP that runs the state cut the early voting days hoping to disenfranchise Democratic voters and it backfired.

  2. Downtown Danny Says:

    Rick Scott being elected is what went wrong.
    Republicans having a majority in our state senate & house is what went wrong.
    Republicans are crooks and tried to steal the election – that is what went wrong.

  3. sam Says:

    Funny to hear the Republicans pointing fingers at local officials. Why were there long lines, um the State Republicans cut the early voting days.

  4. Stupid is as stupid does Says:

    Give me a break. What happened in the days before “early voting”?? The counties that were the worst, (Palm Beach, Broward) are run by DEMOCRATS and will be forever…. the real problem is that the supervisors of elections in these counties have no idea what the hell they are doing. Bucher is no better than Anderson or LaPore… did she read the ballots when they came back from the printer?? Did she really think we believed her about ocmputer errors in previous elections? How do polling places only have 1 scanner?? How do polling places run out of ballots when you know how many people are regisered in your district?? The confusion is what these liberals want, then they blame it on anyone who tries to hold them responsbile (when they are).

  5. BaxterBedford Says:

    For those who think voting should be restricted to one day, then that day should be a national holiday, with the only people working at all being in public transportation. Otherwise there really is no reason to restrict voting to just one day again, unless your goal is to disenfranchise as many working people as possible.

  6. Tom Says:

    What went wrong? Ask Gov. Scott and his Repub. cohorts in Tallahassee and their love of voter suppression in Democratic counties.

  7. DDW Says:

    What went wrong? Rick Scott that is what went wrong.
    1 Year 10 Months and 31 days to go to undo the wrong that was done by the G.O.P. and friends.

  8. shane lawrence Says:

    I think you people who say the republicans tried to steal Florida are insane because all evidence points to the fact that democrat run polling places with help from the Chicago machine were responsible for stealing Florida. Make voting day a national holiday, open 24 hrs , and have voter ID–it’s the only way to secure a free and fair election.

  9. Tom Says:

    Really early voting is a joke… Whatever happened to absentee voting? can people not mail a ballot? There needs to be one election day, no early voting, and absentee voting only works in my state but of course we are talking about Florida who is Corrupt down at the county level blame GOP really how about blaming all those that made a 20 plus page ballot. duh

  10. RENEGADE Says:

    TOM

    The GOP made the ballots of several pages!! DUH!!!!!!!

    (stupid people)

  11. BaxterBedford Says:

    What EXACTLY is wrong with extended voting? If done right, it does nothing to detract from the election process and adds a whole lot of opportunities for people to vote at their convenience. From everything I’ve read, since early voting has started in so many states, the turn-outs in those states has increased appreciably. Therefore it is allowing more people to exercise their right to vote. It seems the only argument against it is from people who’s political preferences seem to be losing with greater participation from the public. So they’re essentially wanting it to restrict participation in elections so that their preferences can win more easily even if it is not the will of the majority of the electorates preference.

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