Mark Earley, the man who rose from voting machine technician to Leon County’s voting systems manager, will be the next supervisor of elections.
Earley easily defeated Democratic Representative Alan Williams of Tallahassee, 54 percent to 45.6 percent. Earley toiled for decades in the shadow of long-time Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho and was his hand-picked successor.
Earley vowed to continue Sancho’s legacy.
“It’s been a long hard charge. I can’t thank my volunteers enough. They have been out there tirelessly working for me. It’s a very small group of people who have really been doing above and beyond. It reminds me of the elections office.”
Earley will oversee an office with 19 full-time employees and a 4.5 million-dollar budget.
Earley has been behind the scenes so long, few know that he predates Sancho’s arrival 28 years ago. Sancho forged a reputation as a voting rights advocate and nationally respected voting systems expert who was unafraid to challenge powerful vendors and the status quo.
Sancho says he’s satisfied the work will continue.
“I feel very comfortable that turning the reins over to Mark will ensure that we’ll have the best elections in the state of Florida and be among the best in the nation.”
Williams was term limited out of office.