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Politics

Ken Detzner: Wait Time at Election Sites Will Be Reduced

November 8, 2012 - 6:00pm

As Tuesdays victors continue to chime for changes they say will reduce the hours of wait time many voters faced at polling locations this year, state officials say they are already considering ways to make the voting experience shorter in future elections.

Appearing on CNN on Friday, Secretary of State Ken Detzner said he doesnt anticipate Florida elections officials or state legislators will move to expand the number of days or hours for early voting as set by the Legislature in 2011.

But the approximately 300 early voting locations across the state -- limited to city and county government centers, elections offices and libraries -- may not be enough, he said during a contentious interview.

Let's talk about the solution, Detzner said. The solution is that in current Florida law there's a limit on the number of locations that supervisors can use during early voting. We need to take a very serious look at that and open up the number of locations.

How ballots are counted is also something that may come up when Detzner discusses the contest with county supervisors of elections next week.

Detzner said Tuesday, as voting was only a few hours old, that he had talked with Gov. Rick Scott, who has faced heated opposition for not expanding the early voting period, about making some slight changes to the way voting was conducted.

Were moving ahead, lesson learned, Detzner said.

Scott, expressing overall contentment with the election process, confirmed the review is coming.

"I'm going to be sitting down with the secretary of state soon to go through all of the issues that might have come up during the election and make sure we always keep improving," Scott told reporters Thursday in Orlando.

A day earlier, Scott said the state government should do the same thing any business does after finishing any project: review to see what can be done better.

On Monday, a coalition that includes Florida Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, state Rep.-elect Jose Javier Rodriguez, the Florida Immigrant Coalition and AFL-CIO intend to lay out a number of recommendations to reform voting in Florida.

House Speaker-designate Will Weatherford, while on WFLA-AM in Tallahassee on Friday, expressed concern more about why the voting continues.

"I'm concerned about the fact that we don't seem to be able to count votes in the state of Florida,'' he added.

With Florida still undeclared, but leaning toward Obama, he added "we should all be a little embarrassed by that."

Detzner attributed the lines to the length of the ballot -- in Miami-Dade County it reached 12 pages because of the constitutional amendments -- mixed with an enthusiastic record turnout.

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

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