Revamping Voting?

By: Mike Vasilinda
By: Mike Vasilinda

More than two million Floridians voted early this year. Their biggest complaint was long lines.

A new idea being pushed by the state's election supervisors would eliminate traditional neighborhood precincts, combine them into super precincts with more machines, more poll workers and keeping all of them open for the entire voting period.

The People for the American Way say at first blush, the idea looks good.

Reggie Mitchell of People for the American Way says, "I'm encouraged by the idea of an 11-day season with the longer days, and it would reduce the lines, so that's absolutely encouraging."

A poll taken by the non-Parisian Collins Center taken before the proposal was made public suggests the supervisor's plan is in tune with most voters.

Dr. Susan MacManus, a USF political scientist, says, "We would like it to be more efficient, bigger places, shorter lines, more poll workers."

While more machines and bigger places is what voters and supervisors say they want, the lawmakers who must make it happen say the devil will be in the details.

Early voting had its problems. Besides long lines, there were too few places or they were in the wrong place. Without strict controls, insiders worry that fairness could get sidelined by efficiency.

Sen. Bill Posey sponsored the early voting law and says, "What assurances can we build in that you won’t have to travel 15 miles to go vote and your neighbor might just get to vote across the street?"

The biggest obstacle the supervisor's proposal will have to overcome is that this year's election worked so well.


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