TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Four elections supervisors who experienced delays on Election Day told a state Senate panel Monday that what went wrong was out of their control.
They said a lack of working printers, data cards that failed, and contractors who made promises they couldn't keep prevented November's election from going smoothly.
Still the senators were told by Mike Ertel, Seminole County Supervisor of Elections, "We had a good elections day statewide in Florida. We have to remember this."
Supervisors want to chuck the paper registries at precincts and use computers to check voters in.
"Part of our delay and unofficial results was the time it takes to post voter history from paper Election Day registers, a paper system that should be replaced by electronic poll books," Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland said.
Flexibility was the watchword of the day.
All but one of Florida's elections supervisors are elected, and what they told the Senate panel was to give them the discretion to do what's best for voters in their respective counties.
The supervisors want a minimum of eight days of early voting, but no more than 14. They want to decide what days and what hours.
On Election Day, Gov. Rick Scott waited 45 minutes to vote. He now supports the supervisors' requests.
"We need to allow for bigger polling stations, and finally, we got to look at the number of early voting days," he said.
Supervisors also put blame on the longest ballot in state history for delays in counting ballots. But they avoided criticizing lawmakers who put 11 amendments before voters.
Miami-Dade County experienced the biggest problems with long lines. At 10 p.m. on Election Day, one in 10 precincts were still casting ballots.
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