[Image via dailybeast]
Florida’s Governor has issues an executive order approving the request of Bay and Gulf Counties to use “mega-voting” sites in the 2020 election cycle. MyPanhandle.com has more:
Hurricane Michael hit the panhandle less than one month away from [the 2018] elections, impacting numerous voting sites.
Bay County Supervisor of Elections, Mark Andersen was forced to make tough decisions in order for everyone to cast their votes.
Andersen created mega voting sites.
This time around, Andersen is planning ahead and working around damaged facilities.
Andersen gave a presentation to the Secretary of State and representatives from Governor Ron DeSantis’ office to create what is called ‘supersites.’
On Monday, Andersen learned his request was approved. DeSantis then issued an executive order to allow the voting sites.
“I have six identified fully which would be nine days for the presidential primary and then the primary will be another nine days but when we hit the general, they’ll be open for 14 days. These sites will allow us that we will open them but we will not close until election night,” Andersen said.
Any registered voter will be able to vote at any site, no matter their address.
The program in the Panhandle could lead to more widespread changes in the Sunshine State:
With this, Andersen says Bay County could be the example that counties across the state follow.
“It has proven to be a possible good model for others that may choose to vote in this manner. I know that it is a top priority on this legislative piece for the association of supervisor of elections, which I am the chairman of the committee for the supersite type options for voting in Florida.”
These voting locations will only be used for the general election, the Presidential Primary Election and Primary Election.
Locations of these sites will be released as the elections get closer.
Gulf County’s supervisor has already identified the two locations he’ll use, which he believes will save the county money in the long run, he tells the Gadsden Times:
The two “super centers” will be [Supervisor John] Hanlon’s office at 401 Long Ave. in Port St. Joe and the Wewahitchka Public Library.
All voters, regardless of previously-assigned precinct or district, will be able to vote at either location.
Hanlon’s office believe[s] the “super center” approach will likely save money in 2020 due to more efficient and focused use of resources.
These mega-sites will be important in the Panhandle in 2020, but they are likely to have a longer-term impact as well, especially if the model is expanded to include other Florida counties going forward. Kudos to Bay and Gulf Counties for moving to adapt their available resources to serve their voters … it will be interesting to see how the 2020 experience works in those counties and what future lessons there are for voting in the Sunshine State. Stay tuned …