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Gov. Scott being pressured to fill two county election vacancies

The people who run elections in Florida say that once again, Gov. Rick Scott is jeopardizing efficiency in voting by dragging his feet in making two appointments.

It has been more than two months since the long-time supervisor of elections in Franklin County, Ida Elliott, resigned for health reasons. Her colleagues say that's plenty of time for Scott to appoint her successor, especially with the unresolved map of Florida congressional districts adding to the uncertainty and a presidential preference primary next March.

The Florida State Association of Supervisors of Election sent a letter to Scott, urging him to appoint a supervisors in Franklin and in Hardee County, where a second vacancy exists following the departure of Supervisor Jeffery Ussery. Elliott is a Republican who resigned effective June 30, and Ussery is a Democrat who resigned effective May 30. Both officials cited health concerns as the reason for resigning.

In a letter to the governor written more than three months ago, on May 15, Ussery urged Scott to appoint his top assistant, Elizabeth (Lisa) Lamboy.

"Both of these counties have been without a supervisor for several months," the letter from Pasco Supervisor Brian Corley said. "In addition to the daily management requirements of the office, there is the current legislative session dealing with congressional redistricting, which has the potential to impact both counties."

Corley told Scott that the next planning seminar for supervisors is scheduled for Oct. 5, and it would be wise for him to act before then. Scott spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said: "Our office is in the process of reviewing applications and looks forward to making appointments soon."

Elliott worked in the Franklin County elections office in Apalachicola for 36 years, and was elected supervisor in 2008. Her long-time assistant, Heather Riley, applied for the top job and received a strong vote of confidence from Elliott in her resignation letter. Another applicant for the job is Will Kendrick, a former state House member who works as community outreach coordinator for the state Department of Corrections.

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