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On Politics: Brevard’s new voting equipment on display

Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott is hosting open houses this week to showcase Brevard’s new voting equipment to be used during the 2014 primary and general elections.

Two open houses will be held at the Supervisor of Elections Office at 2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Building C, in Viera. They will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday.

In addition, an open house will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at the Supervisor of Elections Office, 400 South St., Suite 1-F, Titusville.

Chief Deputy Supervisor of Elections Tim Bobanic said there will be three major changes voters will see as part of the new voting equipment:

• Voters will be checked in through an electronic voter identification system, eliminating the need for them to sign a paper registration book. The system uses information on drivers’ licenses or similar identification.

Bobanic said the change should make the lines at the polls move quicker.

• The tabulator machines will have large displays and will notify voters if they’ve made one of two types of mistakes when marking their ballot.

If a voter casts a ballot for multiple candidates for a particular race — two candidates for governor, for example — the display will indicate that mistake, known as an “overvote.” The voter can ask for a new ballot form to fill out, or they can opt to use the same ballot they filled out. In the latter case, the multiple votes cast for governor will be disqualified, but the votes the person casts in other races will be counted.

If a voter fill out no entries in any race, the display will ask if that was what the voter intended. If it is, the ballot will be cast that way. If the voter didn’t intend to do that, the voter will get an opportunity to cast a ballot on some or all of the races.

However, the equipment will not flag ballots in which the voter casts ballots in some races but not others, which is a common practice. Those ballots will be counted as submitted.

• Disabled voters will have new types of terminals on which to cast their ballots that will more easily accommodate people with various disabilities.

Scott said the Aug. 26 primary will be first countywide election since acquiring the new voting equipment, although they were used during the scattered 2013 municipal and special district elections in Barefoot Bay, Indialantic and Melbourne Beach.

That debut was “very successful,” Bobanic said. “The voters were overwhelmingly positive and the poll workers absolutely love it.”

Bobanic said the new equipment replaces polling equipment in Brevard County that was about 14 years old and among the oldest that was still in use in Florida.

Scott and her staff will be available during the open houses to answer questions and provide tours.

For additional information and to RSVP for the event, call Megan Phillips, outreach coordinator, at 321-633-2124, or email her at MPhillips@votebrevard.com.

15 candidates win unopposed special district elections

Fifteen candidates seeking to serve on elected special district boards within Brevard County have been elected without opposition.

But there will be contested races in the Nov. 4 elections in Barefoot Bay, Baytree and Viera East.

The elections are non-partisan, and only voters within a particular district are eligible to vote in that district’s election.

Candidates elected without opposition include:

• Soil and Water Conservation District, Seat 2: Allen Cowart

• Soil and Water Conservation District, Seat 4: Sybrina Anderson

• Baytree Community Development District supervisor, Group 3: Edward Rizzotti

• Baytree Community Development District supervisor, Group 5: Carolyn Witcher

• Heritage Isle Community Development District supervisor, Group 1: E.J. Williams

• Heritage Isle Community Development District supervisor, Group 2: Roger Teurfs

• Holiday Park Community Development District trustee, Group 2: Harald Albinus

• Holiday Park Community Development District trustee, Group 6: Allison Kelly

• Holiday Park Community Development District trustee, Group 8: Philias Matton

• Montecito Community Development District, Seat 5: Richard Wellman

• North Merritt Island Dependent Special District representative (four seats available): Theodore William Balke, Mary Hillberg, Jack Ratterman and Catherine Testa

• Viera East Community Development District supervisor, Group 2: Paul McCarthy

Among the contested races, candidates who qualified for ballot spots are:

• Barefoot Bay Recreation District trustee (three seats available): Richard Bleau, Frank Cavaliere, Steven Diana, Joseph Klosky and Brian Lavier

• Baytree Community Development District supervisor, Group 4: Maria G. Hernandez and Jen Tecson

• Viera East Community Development District supervisor, Group 1: David Bedwell and Larry Mangum

County Commission race fundraising tops $450,000

The candidate-packed races for two open Brevard County Commission seats have attracted more than $450,000 in cash and in-kind contributions so far, according to latest available reports filed with the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Office.

The figures include amounts for candidates who withdrew or did not qualify for the race, as well as money candidates themselves put into their campaigns.

In District 2, the leaders in fundraising are:

• Republican Michael Hartman ($64,524 raised, $61,331 spent)

• Republican Jim Barfield ($56,527 raised, $22,714 spent)

• Republican Ron Taylor ($46,850 raised, $45,423 spent)

• Jack Smink, running without party affiliation ($36,725 raised, $34,114 spent)

In District 4, the leaders among still-active candidates in fundraising, all Republicans, are:

• Curtis Smith ($51,282 raised, $22,920 spent)

• David Armstrong ($41,906 raised, $19,778 spent)

• Bill Klein ($32,381 raised, $18,567 spent)

• Richard Charbonneau ($31,651 raised, $27,647 spent)

In all, there are four Republicans, one Libertarian and one candidate running without party affiliation in District 2. There are seven Republicans, one Democrat and one Libertarian in District 4. The Republicans face one another in an Aug. 26 primary for the right to be on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Incumbent county commissioners Chuck Nelson in District 2 and Mary Bolin Lewis in District 4 cannot run for re-election because of term limits.

Contact Berman at 321-242-3649 or dberman@floridatoday.com Follow him on Twitter at @ByDaveBerman

HAVE POLITICAL NEWS?

If you have political news to share, contact Enterprise Editor John McCarthy at 321-752-5018 or jmccarthy@floridatoday.com.

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