BY BUDDY NEVINS
Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes distributed the following news release Thursday, nine days after the controversial General Election.
What do you think?
A Message to Broward Voters
Dr. Brenda C. Snipes, Broward County Supervisor of Elections
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Dear Broward Voters,
The Broward County Supervisor of Elections’ Office located in South Florida, provided election services to over 1.1 million voters in the General Election conducted on November 6, 2012. This election was one of the largest ever and attracted more than 762,000 voters who cast votes on more than 3 million ballot pages. The total votes exceeded the historical General Election of 2008 by more than 22,000 votes. Kudos to the Broward voters!
Broward County, as do the remaining 66 Florida counties, votes using paper ballots. This year’s ballot contained four to five double-sided pages depending on a voter’s municipality. Over the past several days, many questions and comments have streamed into our office regarding the vote counting process.
The majority of the 762,000 votes that were cast from Absentee Voting, Early Voting and Election Day were tabulated and reported by 11:59 pm on Election Night as required by the Division of Election’s Election Night Reporting Procedures.
Following the reporting of the first unofficial results on election night, the election staff continued to tabulate valid votes. The ballots that were tabulated after the first unofficial results are not considered “lost” and therefore were not considered “found”. All ballots were in the possession of the Supervisor of Elections at all times during the vote tabulation process, inside the Tabulation Center, located inside the Voting Equipment Center in a warehouse in Lauderhill Mall.
These votes include:
- More than 2,000 provisional ballots that needed to be manually researched and processed
- Overseas and military votes
- In-person absentee voting that was conducted on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday’s Election Day that was mandated by a lawsuit.
- Un-scanned Election Day ballots that required a manual verification process.
- Processing of absentee ballots that are received up to 7:00 p.m. Election Day
The process of continuing to tabulate votes following the first unofficial report is customary across all elections and is in compliance with existing Florida Election Law.
The ballots which were tabulated following the first unofficial count were contained and secured at the Voting Equipment Center Warehouse. Our mission and priority are to account for every valid vote that is received.
Broward conducts all of its elections at the Voting Equipment Center (VEC) a secured facility located in Lauderhill Florida. The following functions take place at the VEC:
- Processing and receiving of absentee ballots
- Recording and preparing absentee ballots for tabulation
- Shipping and receiving all voting equipment and supplies for our 778 voting precincts
- Reviewing provisional and absentee ballots to assure voter eligibility
- Training of: Voter System Technicians, Poll Workers, Poll Deputies
- Canvassing Board Meetings
- Tabulation of Votes on Election Night
- Verifying, reconciling, and tabulating all Early Voting, Election Day, Absentee and In-Person Absentee Voting
Broward voters can be assured that even though separating, organizing and processing takes time, all votes in Broward County will be accounted for when we give our Final Results Certification on November 18th, 2012.
This historical election was made possible by more than 10,000 election workers who served as: Poll workers, Voting System Technicians, Election Day Call Centers, Call Center Support Staff, Field Technicians, Vehicle Drivers and Helpers, County Maintenance Support, Early Voting Workers, Trainers, Technical Support Teams, Ballot Sorters and permanent SOE staff.
I appreciate the feedback that you provide to our office. As we do in all elections, my staff and I will review all election procedures and are committed to identifying ways that we can improve your voting experience. Thank you for being an active Broward voter.