TCPalm: Voters can have confidence in 2018 general election results | Guest column

Article Posted on December 13, 2018

By: Vicki Davis, Treasure Coast Newspapers

Plenty of cable-news pundits and late-night comedians cast the recent election recounts as yet another repeat for the Sunshine State, but this event really was a first for Florida.

It was the first time conducting a statewide recount of three races.

Looking back over the last few weeks, we identified three key areas of interest and importance we want to address directly. We hope to provide answers about a preferred means of voting, assurances about the integrity and security of the process, and insights into the dynamic during the recounts themselves.

Counting all the votes. We hope to clear up a recurring misunderstanding about Vote-by-Mail, provisional and overseas ballots. Some calls or questions to our office expressed fears that these three categories are either not counted at all or play no role in a recount. Nothing could be more mistaken. All eligible votes count in elections and recounts.

In fact, Vote-by-Mail ballots are the first counted. State law allows us to begin counting Vote-by-Mail ballots 15 days before Election Day and requires us to submit them within 30 minutes of polls closing.

Securing the vote. Amid countless news stories about election interference, you can take comfort knowing multi-layer steps employed to protect your vote performed as planned. I just returned from a conference with my colleagues in the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections where organizers provided a comprehensive accounting of the elections and reported “zero cyber-security issues” throughout the state…

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