TAMPA, Fla. – In the 12 months because the January 6 riot, elections officers in Tampa Bay frolicked answering questions from residents and correcting any deceptive or improper details about what occurs on the polls.
The assaults on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. drew consideration to the elections course of after rioters falsely claimed the 2020 election was stolen. The occasions sparked questions, and a few residents turned to their county supervisors of elections for solutions.
“One of the good issues that has occurred because the 2020 election is we have seen extra folks within the election course of, which has given us the chance to clarify a few of the nuances of Florida’s legal guidelines, the know-how concerned, and giving us a chance to have conversations we would not have,” mentioned Dustin Chase, the top of communications on the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office. “So we have now had lots of people convey to us misinformation, disinformation, mal-information. When doable, we have taken the chance to appropriate the document and show to folks the machines have been counting the ballots as they’re supposed to, pursuant to Florida regulation, and that there’s a course of in place to make sure the integrity of elections.”
CAPITOL RIOT: A glance again on 12 months since January 6 riot
Elections officers mentioned outreach and education for residents is just not new to them, however the 2020 election reveals why it’s essential. Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer explains.
“Unfortunately, there’s nonetheless plenty of myths on the market. You know, I learn them on daily basis, hear about them on daily basis of those that simply suppose that issues are haywire they usually’re not,” mentioned Latimer. “And I believe that when we begin educating folks they usually notice that they’ve extra confidence within the system. So it’s a battle proper now, there is no doubt about it.”
While talking with residents concerning the elections course of and its safety, Latimer mentioned many residents didn’t know their places of work did audits of the elections. Elections places of work additionally do upkeep on the poll counting machines with distributors, preserve its cybersecurity up to date to stop hacking, and undergo the registered voters on file.
“That’s one of many issues we do each odd 12 months, odd quantity 12 months, and we wish to ensure that we have the cleanest voter rolls doable and just remember to know, the folks which can be on there are in actual fact, residents in our county,” mentioned Latimer.
With the 2022 midterms coming this fall, election officers need folks to know their vote counts.
“You know, the one factor that we have been actually, actually speaking about is to urge folks to get their data from a trusted supply, and your supervisor of election is a trusted supply,” mentioned Latimer.
The Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections mentioned his workplace plans to launch a sequence of movies within the subsequent two weeks speaking concerning the ins and out of elections, safety and the way it all works. They need to be sure that folks know what’s taking place forward of the midterms this 12 months.
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