Study: Columbia, Putnam, Duval counties have poorest voting access

Group ranks St. Johns County voting access best in state

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Florida's election procedures are again facing national scrutiny.
A new report by a Washington think tank finds that Floridians' access to the voting process varies widely from one county to another. The liberal-leaning Center for American Progress Action Fund ranked 40 counties based on several factors, including voter turnout, voter registration rates, voter purges and provisional and absentee ballots.

The report bills Columbia County as the worst administrator of elections. That's partly because it had the lowest percentage of registered eligible voters and one of the highest rates of rejection for absentee ballots.

REPORT: Florida's worst election offenders

Putnam County ranked second from the bottom, based on overall voter registration, the third-lowest level of voter turnout, and the third-most active county in removing voters from voter rolls.

Alachua County was the third-worst, according to the study.  The county removed the second most registered voters in the state -- nearly two times the state average and issued the third-highest percentage of provisional ballots in Florida.

Duval County was ranked fifth-worst for having the highest percentage of provisional ballots cast in the state -- four times the state average.  The group finds this troubling because not all provisional ballots are counted. Duval rejected more than 34 percent -- more than 2,300 -- of the provisional ballots cast in the county.

St. Johns County, where more than 80 percent of its voting-age population voted in last year's general election, fared best in the report.  Clay County came in second for most voting access among the state's 67 counties.

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