Lawmakers Consider Election Reform, Scott Outlines His' - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Lawmakers Consider Election Reform, Scott Outlines His'

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Bay County, Fla. -

In an effort to reduce long lines experienced this past November, Governor Rick Scott lays out three major areas he wants to target. This week lawmakers and elections supervisors met in Tallahassee to discuss those changes. However some are not completely on board with current proposals.

Budgets come to mind when Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Andersen thinks about the changes Scott is proposing to improve our election process. The governor released his list on Thursday, calling for more early voting days and locations, along with shorter ballots.

Andersen is on board with some of the Governor's proposals, but says a lot of emphasis has been placed on more voting days, a move that may cause a financial burden to offices short staffed and under funded.

"We're not looking at totality of what really caused the issue. If you didn't have the long ballot and you had more early voting sites, you wouldn't have the issue that happened no matter what." Andersen says.

Currently, statutes limit early voting locations to elections offices, public libraries and city halls; it also limits the process to 96 possible hours. Scott proposes up to 168 hours (8 to 14 days, hours of operation should range between 6 and 12 hours a day.)

Jaime Shepard with the league of women voters says the Supervisors of Elections need to have flexibility. The League would also like to see early voting expanded, to include the Sunday before Election Day.

"To be able to have the Sunday before, when people only have the Sunday off, they need that time to vote early." Shepard says.

During the 2008 presidential elections, many African-American churches took advantage of early voting to promote 'take your souls to the polls' and after record turnout many states introduced legislation to prohibit voting on the Sunday before Election Day.

However Andersen says it has nothing to do with politics, it's about having a secure process. "Sunday is a transitional day for the office, for the staff for everyone."