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Absentee ballot directive draws more heat for Scott

by John Kennedy | November 26th, 2013

Gov. Rick Scott’s administration drew fire Tuesday over a directive from the state’s elections chief which limits how absentee ballots can be turned in by voters.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner has ordered county elections supervisors not to allow the return of absentee ballots to any place other than a supervisor’s office.

Pinellas County, home to a contested congressional race featuring former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink, is a county that extensively uses drop-off boxes for absentee ballots.

Detzner defended the move as an attempt to assure uniformity in the state’s election system.

“The directive issued does not change anything in the law, but is a clarification of existing law that was initiated by questions from supervisors of elections that prompted us to address this on a statewide level,” Detzner said Tuesday.

Democrats and voter groups, however, cried foul.

“Given Gov. Scott’s track record of voter suppression, I am disappointed but not surprised,” said Rep. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, a member of the House Ethics & Elections Subcommittee.

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