Florida governor orders voting process review
November 10th, 2012
06:10 PM ET
5 years ago

Florida governor orders voting process review

(CNN) - Gov. Rick Scott of Florida on Saturday said he requested a review of his state's voting processes with a particular emphasis on areas where voters waited four hours or longer to cast their ballots.

"We are glad that so many voters made their voices heard in this election, but as we go forward we must see improvements in our election process," Scott said in a statement. "I have asked Secretary of State Ken Detzner to review this general election and report on ways we can improve the process after all the races are certified.”

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More than 8.5 million votes were cast this year, Scott said, an increase from the approximately 8.3 million Florida ballots cast in 2008.

But last cycle, the state allowed two weeks of early voting, which was shortened this year to eight days. Election boards were permitted to schedule as little as 48 hours of early voting.

"As part of this evaluation, Secretary Detzner will meet with county election supervisors, who are elected or appointed to their position - especially those who ran elections in counties where voters experienced long lines of four hours or more," the Florida Republican said in his statement. "We need to make improvements for Florida voters and it is important to look at processes on the state and the county level. We will carefully review suggestions for bettering the voting process in our state."

President Barack Obama noted the long lines encountered by voters in several states in his election night remarks.

"I want to thank every American who participated in this election," he said in Chicago early Wednesday morning. “Whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time - by the way, we have to fix that."

A previous review ordered by Scott drew controversy over the summer.

The governor directed that local election boards review their voter rolls and remove names of people who appeared to be ineligible.

CNN projected earlier on Saturday that Obama narrowly won the presidential race in the state.

- CNN’s Gregory Wallace and Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Rick Scott
soundoff (277 Responses)
  1. wgf

    Four hours is the break point for what he considers too long ? Every politician and elections official in Florida should be made to wait on line for four hours to cast their vote.

    November 11, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  2. Steveno

    This guy is a joker. Now you want a review because your election is coming soon. You had all the time in the world to have done that especially after 2000’s conspiracy and hanging chard. Your attempt to suppress, rig and disfranchise the electorate because of Obama has failed. It's your turn to be voted out of office. People like Scott do not deserve to lead anyone, not even a cow.

    November 11, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  3. Tom

    I have voted since 1972 in 7 different states and absentee, learn a lesson from California of all places, voting is done at very small, extremely numerous neighborhood polling places with as little 10 or so machines in each location. When I lived there in the early 90's, I voted in a neighbors garage and waited about 5 minutes. The Venice Beach lifeguard station is a polling place. Later when I voted in Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina there were considerably longer waits even for early voting in NC but nothing approaching this disgrace of 8 hour lines.

    There also has to be a fundamental change in the politics of the election commissions. Every state should have non-partisan election commissions, so there is no dog in the fight, who are tasked with allocating the highest population areas the most machines, placed where the voters have convenient and timely access to them. Early voting periods that include weekends so the people that can't afford to take a couple of hours off can vote, larger absentee eligibility, making sure everyone who is eligible to vote has a fair opportunity to do so. In my state those over 60 can vote absentee, a beautiful thing for an old guy like me. It isn't about what party you vote for, it is about allowing those voices that want to be heard are.

    November 11, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  4. Donnybp

    Governor Scott will have to save face now after his state had a tough time reporting the election results. I'm sure that some of his decisions about the election process proposed earlier will come under scrutiny. I'm sure that the republican controlled legislature will have to answer for making early voting shorter this year. This should change back to how it was quite honestly. A full 2 weeks of early voting would help out so many who want to vote but need to work it into their life schedule. I hope that this time around he makes good decisions that benefit the people and not his party!

    November 11, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  5. J Hocutt

    Lets see, first he shrinks the number of polling places in the state of Florida. Ours went from five miles away to 12 miles. We actually voted early in another precinct just 7 miles away. Go figure!!! Then he reduces the number of early voting days from 14 to 8. All to make voting "easier" and "fairer". And now he want to find out why? If that does not scream incompetence I don't know what will. If he is not a one term Governor I will be surprised. I would rather have a Democrat in the office than this bottom of the heap Republican and I'm conservative.

    November 11, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  6. Charles

    Well Scott, the biggest problem was all of those ridiculous Amendments that were stuffed on the ballot. Nothing but attempts to take money from the middle class and give it to the rich; And by the way, a women's right to choose has been decided and ObamaCare IS the law of the land.

    Why must the Republicans continue to live in the 50's.

    November 11, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  7. Lew Rogers

    A review? Fix it! Florida's voting process looks like a 3rd world country. In 4 years you should ask the United Nations for "Official Observers".

    November 11, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  8. Master Blaster

    Two elections in 12 years! Who counts votes down there? I think this Gov. Scott needs to make sure who ever counts votes has a HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA! What's up w/him having voters who "appear" ineligible. They should be CONFIRMED Ineligible! Sounds to me like he was trying to stack the deck. I'm glad this election was decided with out the Florida vote! By the way Florida, y'all voted in a goofey looking Governor! Since Big Bird gets to keep his job. All Florida election officials need to watch Big Bird and learn how to count!

    November 11, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  9. Terry Vann

    .....I'm sure Scott would also be in favor of solving the problem of lying in election campaigns too.
    Nothing less than an Independent Commission is satisfactory. Can't have the wolves protecting the chicken coop!

    November 11, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  10. Meg in Gainesville

    Scott brought this on himself. He was the one who shortened the early voting dates and times, despite pleas and appeals. Now he's a national laughing stock. Let him reflect on his self-imposed vainglorious posturing. He MAY have learned you can't keep a determined voter down.

    November 11, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  11. Bob

    Of course he wants a review – to be sure the process can be made more difficult for some...

    November 11, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  12. davidthetony

    The gov caused this and should be held accountable!

    November 11, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  13. MFVJR

    The governor orders to review the voting process which he himself ordered to curtail/cut/slow down the voting process. Good thing he did not bit his tongue?

    November 11, 2012 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  14. Ron

    Four hours? You should not have to wait even an hour. Some ballots are long, so are short. In any case the voting process itself does not that long. But, because of work, transportation, etc... they either need to up the number of voting machines & staff, or get their behinds in gear, and let people that use the internet vote from home. When you can file taxes, buy and sell merchandise, bank, etc..., from your home or office computer, they CAN find a way. That alone, would cut down on lines. As to voter fraud using that method, I see no better results using the traditional way. You always hear about poorly filled ballots, 'changed' ballots (as in the Bush elections), stuffed ballot boxes, and on and on. Every year, you may be trusting some person to hand count your ballot. How is any of that, better or more efficient than on line balloting?

    November 11, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  15. Terry Vann

    No good Scott! Gotta have an independent commission, or at least a bi-partisan one. Can't have the wolves guarding the chicken coop!!!

    November 11, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  16. nc_mike

    Gov. Rick Scott of Florida on Saturday said he requested a review of his state's voting processes with a particular emphasis on areas where voters waited four hours or longer to cast their ballots. "...we must see improvements in our election process....so that those people have to wait far, far longer so that our voter suppression efforts work better next time"

    November 11, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  17. Rozeller

    Isn't that what you folks said 12 years ago?

    November 11, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  18. Moe

    Is The Governor of FLorida worried about why so many voters couldn't vote or why his voter suppression plan in counties leaning heavily democratic didn't work?

    November 11, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  19. grafixer

    So, what happens when the wolf conducts a review of the slaughter in the hen house?

    November 11, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  20. mikithinks

    Oh, the Republicans are going to review the election "Safus" created by the Republican legislature and aided by the Rupublican Gov. Rick Scott. Start with thw few places abd high cost, ($25,min.) to get voter ID. Add fewer days and hours for early voting, plus the locations for the poling places being limited. School could have been canceled once the problem was noted, (a spokesman said that perverts would have been around children). Add the RNC consultant group which was hired and then fired after it was caught messing with absentee ballots. Add the four page ballot with badly worded amendments which had to be hand fed through a scanner. Add the fact that the Republican Gov. Rick Scott, (a former business patner of G. W. Bush), would not extend the shortened early voting. I know the main cause of the long lines in Florida, it was voter surpression.

    November 11, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  21. mctaket

    Really? Isn't this the same guy who refused to extend early voting hours last week despite long lines and voters waiting for hours? Oh yeah, the election is over now, so he can pretend to care.

    November 11, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  22. Chuck Hendrix

    Like he has a choice? Residents of Florida will not tolerate this crap of repeated problems in not only voting but in certifying the results.

    November 11, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  23. optimistmiser

    Florida shortened the early voting as part of a across the board cost cutting program for all functions of the state.

    November 11, 2012 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  24. liar

    Why didn't he add the extra early voting days back in? He does not care. He is the WORST governor ever. He lies all the time. He said he would accept federal dollars to build high speed rail in Orlando. Then he refused. He refused Obamacare dollars to help the poorest and sickest residents of Florida as well.

    November 11, 2012 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  25. optimistmiser

    Democrats stole the Florida election when they got a judge to extend the early voting for 2 days only in the 3 democrat stronghold counties. The rest of the state which is dominated by Republicans did not have these 2 extra days to vote.

    November 11, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
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