The Florida Supervisor of Elections Association is asking elected leaders to tone down the rhetoric and denounce false claims the 2020 election was wrong. The association’s memo said some supervisors in the state have dealt with threats in the past year.
"We have had threats in our office, against the office generally and against me personally,” Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link said. “None of them have been things that we have deemed very credible or that we needed to take big action on."
Other supervisors in the state have not been as lucky. Sartory Link told WPTV’s Tory Dunnan on To the Point threats against supervisors have led to security being needed to watch the office and even supervisor’s homes.
"We are really asking the elected officials to stop and take a breath,” Sartory Link said. “Ask us questions and get educated about it rather than just ginning up people's anger."
Sartory Link praised her office and the state for a successful 2020 election. As the next election cycle begins, her office is dealing with some changes. Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new elections law. It changes dropbox rules, mail-in ballot requests and solicitation rules.
When the bill was first proposed, all 67 Supervisors of Elections in Florida came out against the bill. Sartory Link said the new rules will cost her office more money.
"Not having the ability to have the check boxes on the envelopes, so now I have to reprint all of our envelopes so that is a big expense,” Sartory Link said. “There have been some changes to the certificate, which means I have to reprint those envelopes and provisional envelopes. It costs us more money to man the drop boxes."
As the first election since the new law was signed gets underway, Sartory Link says voters won’t notice too much of a change right now.
"When they come to the polls they really are not going to see a lot of changes as it relates to the law because of the 150 feet distance has always been there when it comes to early voting, but it also applies to drop boxes but our drop boxes are so close to the doors so it really doesn't expand it very much," Sartory Link said.
Early voting has begun for the special primary in Congressional District 20. The seat has been vacant since the passing of U.S. Congressman Alcee Hastings in April. Early voting is available to voters until October 31 and then election day is November 2. The general election will be held in early January.
Sartory Link will use express votes during early voting for the first time. The system is supposed to speed up the amount of time it takes for a person to vote.
"It is a ballot marking device. It is a touch screen but it is only marking your ballot as it still gives you a paper ballot so you are still going to get your paper ballot which you will then use to put in the tabulator,” Sartory Link said.
Vaccine mobile units will also be available at four of the five early voting sites to offer free COVID-19 vaccines.