State Officials Meet To Discuss Miami-Dade Election Problems
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A special team formed by Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner to investigate the problems in last month’s election met Tuesday afternoon in Miami-Dade with Mayor Carlos Gimenez and the Supervisor of Elections Penelope Townsley.
Detzner joined his team of six to discuss with Gimenez the problems encountered in the county including long lines at the polls and an overwhelming surge of last-minute absentee ballots.
” We are not here to find blame. We are here to find solutions,” said Secretary Detzner.
Miami-Dade is one of five Florida counties Detzner’s staff will visit this week; the others are Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie and Lee counties.
Last week, Detzner told a Senate committee he had confidence in Gimenez, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.
“The mayor gets it. He knows what the problem is in Dade County and how to solve the problem,” said Detzner.
Detzner said the “problem” could be anything from a lack of early voting sites to a lack of money for office operations.
Mayor Gimenez agrees.
“I frankly don’t understand why it’s limited to City Halls and libraries. Their must be a good reason. We don’t know it. So that’s part of the problem,” said Gimenez. ”If they don’t make any changes we can make the process better but it’s going to cost us a little bit more money and we have to adjust to what they do or don’t do.”
Townsley had her own suggestion about early voting.
“I would like to go back to the 14 days of early voting. 8 hours per day and an aggregate of 12 hours on the weekend,” said Townsley.
Detzner plans to report the team’s findings to the governor in January.
Gov. Rick Scott has already urged lawmakers to look at what changes may be needed to a 2011 law that reduced early voting days and may have contributed to the painfully long lines in some areas of the state.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.