Voting in Lee County
For those of you that do not know I live in Florida. Specifically, Lee County, Florida.
The one and only state where election time is chaos.This is my Florida and the situation is appalling.
My wait to vote was short. A mere 2 hours start to finish. It took less than 5 minutes of those 2 hours to fill out my ballot.
Seriously, it is Thursday and the count still has not been finalized and certified. Our county supervisor of elections, Sharon Harrington, did not plan for any contingencies.
According to the Ft. Myers News Press,50 count them, 50 voter machines in Lee County sat unused on election day. They had been programmed for training and for early voting and apparently Ms. Harrington felt they were not necessary thus did not reprogram them in time for the election. Collier County reprogrammed their machines. They had the highest voter turnout in S. Florida and maybe even the state and with minimal wait times! We had a lower turnout than in the 2008 election and several percentage points lower than the rest of the state.
Our polling station had ONE scanner. Roughly 3000 people in the precinct and one scanner. Polls were open from 7 am to 7 pm. It takes almost a minute to scan each ballot. That is 3000 minutes or 50 hours. So if a large portion of the population voted early that would help, right? Wrong!
Even at 1500 voters that is still 24 hours needed with one machine. Even at less than a minute per ballot it is still almost 18 hours in some places.
Basic math people!!! Get a calculator!!
Thus we had polls closing at 7 p.m. and people voting at 1:30 a.m.. Everyone who waited deserves praise! That is taking your vote seriously!
Sharon Harrington stated earlier today in a News Press article that she was not aware the ballot could be shortened by changing the format. Two things: 1) It is your job to know Ms. Harrington, and 2) You have been on the job 9 years. How could you not know?
I do not have proof to charge voter suppression and am just going to say that if that is not what it was then it shows the highest degree of incompetence. Though looking at the areas that had the most disenfranchised voters, mainly low income areas, it is an easy stretch to suppression. The rest of the state is not being addressed here - only Lee County.
This is not the only place where my views will be given and I encourage you to speak up as well. EVERYONE regardless of race, religion, political affiliation or income level deserves to vote. It is our duty to ensure that occurs.
A very angry voter!