Secretary of State defends Florida Governor’s election order

FILE - In this March 17, 2020, file photo a sign is seen outside a polling place at the Boca Raton Library during the Florida primary election in Boca Raton, Fla. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File) (Julio Cortez, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s Elections Supervisors didn’t get everything they wanted to make voting easier during the pandemic, but the Secretary of State is defending the decision not to allow more time for mail and early voting because supervisors got help another way.

Instead of more time to send out and count mail ballots, and more days of early voting, Secretary of State Laurel Lee said Gov. Ron DeSantis dealt with the underlying problem supervisors were trying to solve — a lack of poll workers and polling places.

“By using state workers and encouraging state workers to serve, we have a new field of potential election workers. And the same can be said about using our schools as precinct locations,” said Lee.

But Leon Supervisor Mark Earley tells us he does not believe schools will become polling places.

“We tried to stay out of the schools for many reasons. Security issues, and certainly now, with the pandemic, I don’t want to get into the schools now,” said Earley.

During a speech to the Economic Club of Florida, Lee sought to distance Florida from claims coming from President Donald Trump about the security of mail voting.

“The voter has an opportunity to come in and say, yes, that is my ballot,” said Lee.

She told the audience that attacks on the voting infrastructure are a daily occurrence.

“We’ve invested millions in our cyber infrastructure statewide,” said Lee.

In addition to continued attacks on the system, the Secretary believes voters are going to be bombarded with misinformation, everything from a candidate’s stance to the day of the election being changed.

Lee said if you see something on social media that raises a question, don’t swallow it, go to local supervisors for an answer.

The state now has five full-time cyber specialists working to protect the statewide voting infrastructure.

Lee also emphasized Tuesday that no voting machine is attached to the internet where it can be hacked.

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