Suncoast election leaders proud of prompt statewide election results

Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 7:35 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -The work hasn’t stopped at supervisor of election offices across the Suncoast as they still need to go over provisional ballots.

Overall county leaders tell us they’re proud of their ability to get results in on election night promptly.

A new law adopted after the 2016 Presidential Election allowed election offices across the state to begin counting vote-by-mail ballots 22 days prior to an election. Supervisor of Election Offices like the one in Manatee County were able to begin counting and checking signatures on October 12, which they say gave them a big head start.

“We set the rules so we could start early and get it done without rushing through in the end so we didn’t have the same pressure. We were done,” said the Supervisor of Elections in Manatee County, Michael Bennett.

Bennett says things went right for Florida this election.

“We said you know, we can do this better if we can have a little head start on it. So we started processing those ballots about twenty days out‚” said Bennett.

Both Manatee and Sarasota counties began counting vote by mail ballots days prior to the election to lighten the load on Election Day.

“It’s like everyone used that ability to start earlier this time to get all of this done so we could get the results in on election night. Because we know everyone is waiting for those results,” said Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Ron Turner.

Turner and Bennett say the statute is a great asset to make Florida the most effective it can be to deliver results promptly.

“I think a lot of states are looking at Florida. Right now, what did you and how did you do it and how can they duplicate it,” said Bennett.

Long days and weeks of election work almost coming to an end.

“It’s important work. We love what we do. We love serving the voters so we want to do a good job for them,” said Turner.

Until next election when they’ll get to do it all again.

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