Florida's top elections official Ken Detzner says mission accomplished

2:17 PM, May 23, 2013   |    comments
Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner applauds the state's new election law, calling it a bipartisan solution to fix election problems.
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Tallahassee, Florida - Florida's top elections official says he believes Florida's new election law will solve the problems that plagued the presidential election last year.

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner praises the law as a bipartisan effort that included contributions and support from Republicans, Democrats, supervisors of elections and the Florida League of Women Voters.

The reforms eliminate many of the provisions in Florida's previous election law that contributed to long lines and frustrated voters.

The new measure expands early voting from eight to 14 days, allows supervisors to keep early voting sites open longer and expands eligible polling locations.

Detzner is confident the wide-ranging law will resolve election problems.

"I think that was our mission. That was the goal the governor sent me out with the Department of State employees to find out with the supervisors, what did we need to do to solve the problem. I think we addressed it in a bipartisan basis and I think we're well on our way to solving that problem."

Detzner says the key to the new law is it offers flexibility to counties to run their elections in a way that's best for local voters.

Critics complained the law should have made the last Sunday of early voting before Election Day mandatory, but it will be optional. Detzner says the state will leave that choice to local supervisors.

"Not one size fits all and we gave the flexibility to supervisors to exercise their own discretion based on what their own electorate wants to have and so every supervisor has the option to use that Sunday voting and we'll leave it to their best judgment."

The new election law takes effect January 1, 2014.

Dave Heller

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