League Pushes Elections Reform

As election supervisors across the state request that Gov. Rick Scott and state legislators reassess election laws, the League of Women Voters of Florida are joining the chorus for such change.

“It is imperative that we put Florida’s election meltdowns behind us once and for all,” said League President Deirdre Macnab in a press release. “Those voters who were able to wait showed  remarkable patience as they grappled with one of the longest, most complex ballots in Florida history, and faced lines unlike those citizens of many Third World countries ever experience.”

The League has identified five priorities for election reform in Florida: improve the early voting process, modernize the state’s voter registration system, reform the absentee ballot process, address concerns about legislative ballot amendments and ensure an expedited process for voters who are disabled or elderly.

Florida’s election process is facing intense scrutiny following November’s election. Voters throughout the state—particularly in the southern portion—faced daunting waits, with the state releasing final results well after the national presidential election had been called.

“Early voting restrictions, an outdated voter registration system and a lengthy ballot all coalesced to create excessive lines, delays in the counting of ballots and a significant number of disenfranchised voters in 2012,” Macnab said. “We are pleased to see the receptive environment for citizen input on election reforms that can help put these problems behind us once and for all.”

The League has offered several recommendations aimed at addressing its list of concerns. The group is suggesting that the state allow for up to 14 early voting days, allow more flexibility in the selection of early voting sites and establish an online voter registration system. It is also pushing for legislatively proposed constitutional amendments be limited 75 words.

The League recently provided its list of priorities and recommendations to Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner.