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Florida groups and Duval elections supervisor seek voter reform

9:06 PM, Nov 13, 2012   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Duval County's Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland will be in Tallahassee on Wednesday to discuss voter reform with Florida's Secretary of State Ken Detzner.

The laughing stock of the nation -- that's what some are calling Florida after the state took an extra four days to be called in the Presidential elections. The delayed election results has voter activist groups as well as the state election board taking action.

"We are a big player on the national scene with 29 electoral votes but we just can't seem to get our act together. We have a large population here but other states, Texas, California, they have a large population too," said Angela Demonbreun, President, League of Women Voters, Jacksonville First Coast.

So what's the problem with Florida? The League of Women Voters, along with other organizations like the AARP, are asking Governor Rick Scott to form a task force to find out -- long lines, funding, and reduced early voting days are on the agenda.

Holland is also heading to Tallahassee to discuss issues that can help larger counties.

"One thing that we've always pushed for as supervisor of elections is where we can have early voting. The state statues limit us now to three possible areas ... public libraries, city halls, and elections offices and for counties like Miami-Dade and Broward, Palm Beach, there's not enough of those facilities to go around," said Holland.

Miami-Dade saw some of the longest lines with voters waiting even seven hours to vote. Duval's wait time usually ranged between one to two hours. Lengthy ballots were also a contributing factor to long lines on Election Day.

For the first time, almost all of Florida's 67 counties had a multiple page ballot. Duval had four pages for the first time; Miami-Dade's ballot was 12 pages long. Meanwhile, the entire state suffered from precincts that did not have complete ballot counts on election night.

"We live here and we want our votes to count, but that problem in Miami and all that area, there's no way in the world. It was ridiculous," said Marie Mobley, a Northside resident.

Many Floridians felt like their votes didn't count and were disappointed that Florida could not join the rest of the country on election night.

"Not very happy ... it just wasn't a good feeling and we just didn't feel a part of it," said Janet Folsom, a Jacksonville voter.

Votes are actually still being counted till Friday, the deadline for military votes to come in from overseas.

First Coast News

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