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Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner seeks to restrict absentee ballots

Detzner says absentee ballots should only be mailed or dropped off at Supervisors of Elections offices

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But, at least to Democrats and most of the state’s election supervisors, the problem is deeper than the semantics Detzner is trying to invoke here. For one, there’s a high-profile special election coming up for Congressional District 13 in March (the seat vacated by the deceased Rep. C.W. Bill Young), and that won’t wait for the legislature to hash this matter out in the 2014 legislative session. District 13 also happens to be the district with the highest number of absentee voters – people who might not trust the mail for voting and might also live too far away from a supervisor’s office to hand deliver their ballot appropriately.

The move only exacerbates an already tense relationship between the 67 independently elected supervisors of elections and Gov. Scott’s cabinet, specifically Detzner. Party affiliations be damned, most have piled on to call this latest limitation every name from “pathetic” to “anti-voter.” You’ll recall that the drop-off method was effectively born of necessity when the lines started getting too long at polling places in Florida, and we all know that is the reason we have a commie president. And while not all counties utilize the drop-off sites for absentee ballots, if you live in Orange County, yours does.

“Orange County did allow voters to drop off absentee ballots at the nine early voting sites outside of this office. We did not track the number of ballots dropped off at each site. Are the early voting sites an extension of the Supervisor of Elections main office? We set them up and staff them,” Orange County Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles says in an email. “I believe this is a disservice to our voters. How will an Apopka voter feel if on the last day of Early Voting (Sunday before the Election) they try to drop off a ballot at the Apopka Early Voting site only to be told they will either have to mail it (hope that it gets here by 7 PM Tuesday night) or drive it all the way down to Kaley Street in downtown Orlando? We have a system for bringing these ballots in each night from the early voting sites to be processed.”

“Thank goodness there is the 2014 legislative session before the next statewide elections,” he adds. “Hopefully, we can have this cleared up by them. This is not an issue for our spring Municipal Elections since the main office (our only office) is the early voting site for all municipalities having an election.”

The Tampa Bay Times provided what may be the most hysterical context for Detzner’s latest fumble. They suggested over the weekend that it’s the secretary who ought to be tendering his resignation at present, and not beleaguered cocaine Rep. Trey Radel. Boom!

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