SARASOTA — After a highly contested Florida General Election and recount, it wouldn't be surprising if election officials attending the midwinter conference spent a little extra time with vendors at The Florida State Association of Supervisors of ...
Carlos R. Munoz Staff Writer @readcarlos
Dec 2, 2018 at 8:53 PM Dec 2, 2018 at 8:53 PM
Winter meeting offers officials a chance to test new technology.
SARASOTA — After a highly contested Florida General Election and recount, it wouldn't be surprising if election officials attending the midwinter conference spent a little extra time with vendors at The Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections Mid-Winter Conference, which began Sunday.
The FSASE is a nonprofit professional organization for Florida supervisors of elections. It meets twice a year — summer and winter — to conduct business and discuss training.
Meetings being held at The Westin Sarasota until Dec. 5 are sure to discuss a challenging election year. They began Sunday with a Board of Director's and Executive Committee meeting that was closed to the public.
"We will also have representatives from the Secretary of State's Office that will be meeting with us," said Ron Turner, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections and host of the event. "The Secretary of State is the chief elections official for the state of Florida. Having the opportunity to interact with them in person and as a supervisor is important."
The winter meeting typically consists of supervisors for all 67 Florida counties and voting system vendors. It's an opportunity for officials interested in upgrading equipment to test tabulators and ballot printers.
Florida's statewide turnout for the General Election was 62.5 percent of 13,278,070 registered voters. Sarasota County had 66.97 percent turnout (213,220).
Election Systems and Software products provides service for about two-thirds of Florida counties.
"This equipment is one of the products that specializes in a recount," ESS contractor Allison Tafelski said. "The DS850 (their largest line of high-speed tabulators) is what you saw running 24 hours a day for five days straight in Broward County."
Turner said the meetings provide supervisors a chance to talk about best practices.
"It's nice to be able to host the supervisors here (in Sarasota County) to show them what Sarasota County has to offer," Turner said. "Outside of that — as the Supervisor of Elections for the county — it's a chance to be able to spend time with my colleagues and learn from them what went well, and what we can improve upon. To have those conversations and relationships so we can lean on each other in the state of Florida."
The conference resumes Monday with a closed business meeting in the morning and the first public session, "Legislative 101: Understanding and Participating in the Process," with Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott at 1:30 p.m.
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