LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – The Department of State issued guidance to the Supervisor of Elections of each county in Florida to protect the November election.
The letter sent by the agency on Oct. 14 was aimed at securing ballots at drop boxes.
The guidance recommends election officials to have staff at secure drop box locations at all times to ensure the election process is not compromised.
Lake County Supervisor Alan Hays said upon receiving the letter, his office complied right away.
“We’ve had a drop box here at our location in Tavares that has been accessible and is under camera surveillance 24 hours a day.”
The recommendation instructed Supervisors to have someone monitor the drop box on-site in case someone tries to destroy or spoil the ballots.
The state said video monitoring ‘might assist in apprehending people after the fact but indicates someone in person serves as a strong deterrent from an unlawful activity’.
“When we got the directive, I simply called the security company and we now have live people watching it,” Hays said.
In Seminole County, Supervisor of Elections Chris Anderson said the county wasn’t directly impacted by the guidance because they do not have 24-hour drop box locations.
“We didn’t have to make any adjustments when this recent memo came out,” Anderson said.
Anderson said he was in favor of the extra safeguards due to the unprecedented voter turnout he said makes added security necessary.
“We had 9,060 people that voted in person here is where it gets even more interesting, we had 9,700 votes by mail ballots dropped off in our drop boxes,” he said.
Supervisor of Elections in Osceola county Mary Jane Arrington expressed confidence in the ability to safely receive and count ballots.
“We are going with the plan we originally had. I think a lot of voters have had some angst,” Arrington said.