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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Browning wants more early voting sites



Florida’s elections chief plans to ask the state Legislature to expand the number of early voting sites before the next election, saying the law simply doesn’t permit enough sites to handle demand.

Speaking to a national conference of elections officials and voting experts in Washington on Tuesday, Secretary of State Kurt Browning also said local elections supervisors need more flexibility for when and where to offer early voting.

Florida law permits early voting only at elections supervisors’ offices and branches, city halls and public libraries, amounting to a total of 267 sites statewide in November — meaning hours-long waits for many of the 2.6-million people who opted for in-person early voting.

"Any time you try to run that many people through that many polling places for that many hours, you are asking for trouble,” Browning told attendees at the conference, which was sponsored by the Pew Center for the States.

Browning said he doesn’t have a set number of early voting sites in mind, but envisions expanding the options to include convention centers, public meeting rooms and the like.


[Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 3:08pm]


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