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Elections officials incensed over Scott's 'rating system'

Florida supervisors of elections are incensed with Gov. Rick Scott and his chief elections official over what they say is a flawed and inaccurate survey that ranks them in eight areas. Elections officials went public with their frustrations on Thursday in hopes of keeping the governor's office from posting survey results online that they say are inaccurate.

"The process was flawed from the start," said Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Deb Clark. "Questions and procedures were unclear, obviously written by people who can cite statutes, but have no understanding of what is required to conduct an election."

The survey results appear below.

The idea came from Scott, a firm believer in accountability and measurement. Election supervisors are not political appointees; they are independently-elected constitutional officers, like sheriffs or court clerks. 

The supervisors had a contentious 90-minute conference call on Wednesday with Secretary of State Ken Detzner. During that conference call, the elections officials cited inaccuracies in the survey and asked the state to delay posting the results online. "Our request was denied," Clark said in an email to Pinellas legislators. "So they are posting information they know is incorrect."

The survey rated elections officials in areas such as how quickly they posted their first election night results; when they mailed absentee ballots; and when they notified the public of early voting sites. Supervisors also received extra credit if they mailed in the survey results ahead of the deadline, which Pasco Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley called "silly."

"This is completely devoid of any statutory validity," Corley said. "I'm almost embarrassed ... it's sad."

The governor's office and Detzner's office have no immediate reaction to the criticism. Worth noting: One of the lowest-rated supervisors of election in the state is a Scott appointee, Thomas Hardee of Madison County, who was appointed by the governor last year when his predecessor was charged with elections fraud.

-- Steve Bousquet


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west coast guy

The Elections Supervisors should collaborate on a rating score for Scott.

Sonja Fierro

If Scott believed in accountability then he would be first to accept responsibility for the fraud his hospital committed. He distances himself away from his own actions, and is morally corrupt.

David Kearns

Rick Scott is doing this to whitewash the likely fraudulent election which ushered him into office. Unanswered questions remain concerning the conduct of the general election in Hillsborough County. This while SOE officials there, and a tacitly complicit county commission, continue to play cat and mouse with concerns from members of the public demanding answers regarding 38,000 "rescanned ballots" all from early voting, on election night. The secretary of state has taken two fake retirements to avoid the general elections which he helped orchestrate. The second one just as questions regarding Hillsborough surfaced. In the corporate dark ages, reporters don't investigate, merely parrot press releases interspersing their accounts with soft, meaningless quotes. Surface squabble is now reported as "news". This whitewash will be successful (Hillsborough was given a 6 rating out of 8) because reporters can't even report on the facts; the most glaring being the criterion for the rating system: the conduct of the primary election, in which REPUBLICANS were the only ones to vote. The indicator of how fair elections are, and how well SOEs have done should rightly be measured when as many people as possible from all parties vote. This was not done, bad reporting once again muddles the issue.

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