Here are her responses to the key questions:
Q: The nation has been watching Florida’s court case over last year’s reduction in early voting. What’s your take?
A: The impact of the shortening of the early voting hours is less than that of some other new laws in Florida. The one most bothersome to me is the harsh guidelines for third party voter registration. I see people in our community, whether they are from the chamber of commerce, or teachers, or young people, who basically back away from helping give people the opportunity to register to vote because they’re daunted and intimidated by the heavy-handed bureaucracy as well as the fines.
Just recently the court threw out the fines and the 48-hour deadline for returning completed registration forms, but many unnecessary hoops and chutes and ladders still exist, just to register people. I’m not worried about the political parties and the League of Women Voters; they’ll be fine. It is the community people who are turning away.
Q: What other issues are front and center for your jurisdiction now?
A: A number of issues have been big in this very important election year in what is a very important swing state. One is the voter purge we saw earlier this year. It was not only slapdash, but it had no upside. The voter rolls were not improved! All that this did was to shake voter confidence. That is going to produce challenges, and it may have the effect of tamping down turnout.