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Elections supervisors stunned by last-minute ‘attack’

by Dara Kam | April 16th, 2013

The appointed secretary of state would have the authority to decide if elections supervisors are “non-compliant” and force them to take additional training under a last-minute provision included in a sweeping elections bill by the Senate this morning.

Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, sponsored the late-filed amendment to give the secretary of state “a little more clout” over the local officials.

“It’s more symbolic than anything else, but it’s an important message to send I believe,” said Diaz de la Portilla, who has been an outspoken critic of Miami-Dade County’s elections and is the sponsor of the controversial 2011 HB 1355 that shrank the number of early voting days from 14 to eight. Many critics believe the shorter number of days contributed to the long lines encountered by voters in counties with large populations, including Palm Beach.

Looking on from the public gallery, the 22-18 vote in favor of Diaz de la Portilla’s amendment stunned several supervisors, including the Florida State Association of State Elections Supervisors President Vicki Davis of Martin County.

Polk County Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards, a former state representative, called the last-minute amendment a “typical inside Tallahassee backroom deal.”

And Pasco County elections supervisor Brian Corley, who minutes before had been tweeting praise of the bill, called the idea that a “politically appointed Tallahassee bureaucrat” could put local elections officials on “super secret probation” insulting.

The House approved its version of the elections changes (HB 7013) on the first day of the legislative session. The Senate could vote in its version as early as next week, and could add more changes.

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5 Responses to “Elections supervisors stunned by last-minute ‘attack’”

  1. Here's an Idea Says:

    Somebody has to keep a close eye on loony liberals like Bucher and Walker up in St. Lucie.

  2. Appropriate Says:

    Interesting… the Governor has the ability to suspend under certain circumstances… and I believe I remember reading that Miami Dade didn’t redo their voting precincts even though they knew, due to growth, that there would be problems… They need the extra pressure to do what is right, not easy, in cases such as this.

  3. Searcher1 Says:

    It’s time for Sen. Miguel Diaz de la Portilla to be retired form office. These TEAliban hate Government Interference, unless it is for voter suppression or ideological purposes….

  4. Monitor Them! Says:

    Oh, Supervisors of Elections are above being monitored???

    They are too good to be watched?

    Everyone holding office should be monitored.

    Too many times inept people are elected to office.

    There are just too many problems, questions regarding voting.

    Supervisors NEED TO BE MONITORED!

    They FAILED to open more Early Voting sites.

    They FAILED to monitor ballots that somehow became lost.

    As for meeting ‘deadlines’ there should be room for more time AS LONG AS outside monitors are observing what is happening.

  5. colton Says:

    Where does it say in the Florida Constitution or or Florida law that it is the duty of the Secretary of State to punish elected Supervisors of Election? It’s one more power grab similiar to the legislature removing power from counties to make their own laws as they have done for years. What ever happened to the GOP devotion to home rule?
    Supervisors of Elections are elected in their own right and are responsible to the voters, not Ken Dentzer. Diaz de la Portilla has a personal vendetta against one supervisor and is using his position to attack her.

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