Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

As part of getting ready for the 2018 election cycle, election officials in Florida have received training from the University of West Florida’s Center for Cybersecurity. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody reports.

The Center taught the courses in Tallahassee, Miami, Orlando and St. Augustine last month.

“[An election] is an ongoing target; it’s a very fast-moving field. Every breach that occurs, every new threat that comes up, has a little bit of a different twist to it,” says Eman El-Sheikh, Director of the UWF Center for Cybersecurity.

volusiademocraticparty.org

Almost four and a half million people already have voted in the battleground state of Florida, according to the state Division of Elections.

That’s including a larger turnout so far in the western Panhandle.

Supervisors of Elections in the three counties report a record in the number of voter registrations for an election cycle: 130,000 in Santa Rosa County and  135,000 in Okaloosa.

Voters in Florida go to the polls Tuesday for the state primary: that is, those who haven’t already taken advantage of casting ballots early or by mail.

Escambia County ended just shy of 9,000 early voters, 8,826 is the unofficial turnout figure for the early voting period, August 20-27. David Stafford, Escambia County’s Supervisor of Elections, adds that figure is 103 percent over the 2014 primary, and up 32 percent over 2012.

Photo via Flickr//Steve Cornelius / https://flic.kr/p/dqv6XU

  Escambia Supervisor David Stafford says hours for six of the seven locations are nine a.m. until six p.m. The seventh, the Supervisor’s main office, closes an hour earlier.

“We looked at data, particularly from some other counties and also compared it to ours, and noted that counties that open a little bit later in the morning and stayed open a little bit later in the evening got more bang for their buck in that final hour,” said Stafford.

Photo via Flickr// NadineOG / https://flic.kr/p/dpFYRg

There are two weeks left to register to vote in the Florida primaries on March 15th. By Florida law, the registration books have to close 29 days before an election. In this case, that’s February 16.

Escambia County Elections Supervisor David Stafford says only voters registered as Democrats or Republicans can vote in this primary. About 21% of the county’s registered voters are either No Party Affiliation, or belong to a minor party.

Tax Breaks Renewed For Businesses In Okaloosa County

Aug 29, 2014

In Okaloosa County's Tuesday Primary there was one county wide referendum on the ballot. The measure asked voters for an extension of temporary economic development property tax exemptions to businesses that create new jobs in the area. 

The county referendum passed with a wide margin on election night with 75 % of those casting ballots in favor of it. That’s a total of 18,579 votes and voices saying yes to the incentive that could help draw new businesses.

Photo via Flickr//Vox Efx

  Eight days of early voting in Escambia County ended on Saturday, as did 13 days in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa. And now, other voters must actually go to the polls on Tuesday to vote in the primary.

Of the three counties in the western Panhandle, Okaloosa collected the most votes in the early period, at just under 6,200. Paul Lux, the county’s Elections Supervisor, says despite the most recent numbers, early voting is gaining in popularity. Absentee ballots processed in Okaloosa County as of Monday total just under 5,000.

Photo via Flickr//Vox Efx

  Early voting got underway Monday in two of the three western Panhandle counties.

Voters in Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties can cast ballots prior to the August 26 primary through Saturday, August 23. Tappie Villane, the Elections Supervisor in Santa Rosa, says the stream of people was fairly steady on day one. Those wishing to vote in the primary, either early or on Election Day, will need to bring some form of photo ID.

A report by the left-leaning watchdog group Center for American Progress Action Fund ranks the best and worst counties in Florida for voting in last year's presidential election.  Meanwhile, local elections supervisors are firing back.  

Called "Florida's Worst Election Offenders," the study uses data from the U-S Elections Assistance Commission, divided up into nine factors, to gauge how well the state’s 40 most populous counties measured up.

Grant Expands Voting For Military Members

Nov 30, 2013
www.ourmissionyourvote.us / Our Mission: Your Vote Consortium

 Almost $1.9 million in federal grant money will help the Okaloosa County Elections Office to increase their ability to offer electronic ballots to overseas voters. Supervisor of Elections Paul Lux says the money will be used to bring 21 additional Florida counties into the Our Mission: Your Vote   consortium that he founded in 2010. With the original federal grant of $1.6 million in 2011, the Our Mission: Your Vote program began as a consortium of 13 Florida Counties who came together to provide access to some of the hardest to reach voters for every federal election through 2016.