Saturday, November 10, 2012

CNN's Ashleigh Banfield asks Florida secretary of state: Why did you reduce the amount of early voting days?

Posted By on Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 9:45 AM

The state of Florida is expected to announce sometime today the final results of the presidential election in the Sunshine State. You know, the one that ended on Tuesday?

On Friday, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield, who observed first-hand the hours-long lines that voters in Miami-Dade County endured on Election Day, finally got somebody in charge from Florida to go on the air and defend what happened on Tuesday. Governor Scott was apparently too busy, so Secretary of State Ken Detzner did his job and went on the cable news network to try to explain this latest Florida electoral voting mess, 12 years after the Bush/Gore 36-day recount.

In the interview, Detzner employs the now-familiar RPOF talking points that have been used by everybody from Scott to Jeb Bush, Jennifer Carroll, Rich Glorioso, Will Weatherford, Don Gaetz and others regarding HB 1355, and how its passage actually made early voting a success this year.

These officials are looking worse and worse every day.

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio says that the problem is easily fixable: reduce the lengthy ballot that Floridians had to read through (with 11 constitutional amendments and obviously no word limit on them, many voters did the responsible thing and read through them at the polls, causing delays in privacy booths), and increase early voting days.

The GOP leadership has the heat on them now, and Governor Scott, Secretary Detzner and the incoming Senate and House leaders say they'll look into this. But as the former Tampa mayor says, it's not that complicated. The first thing the Legislature should look at is simply repealing HB 1355, and allow for more voters to participate, with more days to vote before Election Day, not less.

Iorio also says the number of polling sites should be increased for early voting. Which begs another question: how does Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark, already under fire for that other problem, get away with putting so little effort into boosting early voting efforts (vs. encouraging people to vote absentee)?

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