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Elections

Rick Scott Proposes Nationwide Vote-By-Mail Policies

Florida Gov. Rick Scott recognizes a visitor in the gallery during his March 4 State of the State speech at the Capitol in Tallahassee.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott recognizes a visitor in the gallery during his March 4 State of the State speech at the Capitol in Tallahassee.

Florida U.S. Senator Rick Scott wants to create national standards for vote-by-mail systems. He believes the changes would protect against voter fraud. One proposal would establish a deadline for mail-in ballots to be requested at least 21 days prior to the election date. Former Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho says the proposal may work in other states but would set Florida back.

"Currently citizens in the State of Florida can request a vote-by-mail ballot within eight days of the election," said Sancho. "We have methods and procedures to allow an individual who received that ballot to drop it off at early voting stations. It doesn’t even have to go into the postal system to be tabulated."

Another Scott proposal would require all eligible ballots to be counted and reported within 24 hours after polls close. Sancho says that’s not enough time to ensure all ballots are in; for example, overseas voters, who have up to ten days after the election for their ballots to be received.