|Published:||Feb 06, 2013 11:09 PM EST|
|Updated:||Feb 06, 2013 11:20 PM EST|
The Lee County elections supervisor is on a mission to make your next voting experience hassle free. Sharon Harrington's plans come three months after the general election when voters waited in long lines for more than five hours.
Harrington addressed the Bonita Springs City Council where she called last years election the perfect storm. In her presentation, she detailed what went wrong and what she plans to do to fix it.
"That should have never happened that way, period," said voter Carol Helmenski.
Bonita, like other early voting locations across Southwest Florida, had long lines and high frustrations.
"I did go over there twice and left because of long lines," said voter Bobbie Bobbie Bird.
More than 8,900 voters cast their ballots early at Bonita's branch office; numbers Harrington says were unexpected.
"We do not have a crystal ball and we can never tell if people will go and early vote," said Harrington.
This was the first general election with new precinct boundaries. Harrington says it was that, plus not having enough voting locations and the extremely long ballot that were the ingredients for disaster, but she also says changes are already in the works.
"We are looking at going with electronic poll books rather than the paper ones," she said.
Harrington says she has already in talks with county commissioners about getting more money for more polling locations, scanning machines and a larger Bonita Springs branch office.
"We will probably have more polling places and probably more early voting and that will solve the problem," said Bonita council member Bill Lonkart.
The secretary of state, Ken Detzner, and governor Scott also think there needs to be more early voting days. Detzner is also recommending allowing more types of places to serve as polling locations and also having a ballot word limit to make sure ballots aren't as long as they were last year.
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