St. Lucie County election report released

Staff inexperience and inadequate procedures cited


FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- Citing weeks of problems during the 2012 election in St. Lucie County, the State of Florida Division of Elections released its report on what it was that plagued the county on Election Day.

The report is eight pages long and outlines three areas where the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Office made mistakes.

"It is like reliving a nightmare, I spent a lot of time at this place," said Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson.

Hudson, who was just elected in November, did not know whether she had won the office of the mayor for days after the election.

To prevent the delay from happening again, the state outlined three areas it saw problems.

The report first identifies the "memory card failures" that ranged from staff misidentifying cards to the cards malfunctioning.

The second problem it called "procedural errors" where some ballots were double scanned, un-rescanned or missing.

The final spot the state report pointed out was what happened "post-Election Day." The state discovered some ballots were partially re-scanned, left out or segregated during the re-tabulation.

The report also points out the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections Office missed the deadline to turn in official results.

"It does seem to be a preponderance of errors that procedures need to be put in place and staff needs to be trained," said Hudson.

The state want the county to review procedures and methods, create checks and balances during counting and make a plane for when situations do not go right.

The report also indicates the state wants to see tighter controls on managing ballots and recommends the office upload early voting results before election day.

Mayor Hudson believes they were highlighted during the 2012 election because of how close several races were.

"If we have another close election and nothing does change, then shame on us," said Hudson.

Attempts to reach Gertrude Walker, the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, were unsuccessful.

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