Rallies and re-tabulations marked November's general election in St. Lucie County. Fingers were pointed and lawsuits were filed. In an effort to prevent a repeat performance, St. Lucie County Elections Supervisor Gertrude Walker and her administrative staff are heading to Tampa on Tuesday.
"Our goals are to gain a better understanding, No. 1 of multi-card ballots because that was a first for St. Lucie County," said Walker from her Fort Pierce office Monday.
Hillsborough County also has a similar voting system, Walker said, and like St. Lucie County did in November, experienced some memory card failures back in 2010.
"I know it will be beneficial for us to go over and look over their procedures and hopefully ensure it doesn't happen here again," added Walker.
A report from the Secretary of State's office after the election faulted Walker's office for not uploading early votes before Election Day, and said it did not have a contingency plan in place for when the memory cards failed.
While not targeting any one individual, there's been some talk in Tallahassee giving the Department of State the power to suspend elections officials.
Martin County Supervisor of Elections Vicki Davis is also President of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections. She says a law passed in 2005 already gives the secretary the ability to bring legal action against an election supervisor.
"We do feel it would be redundant. The governor has the authority under the constitution of the State of Florida to suspend or remove a supervisor for malfeasance, misfeasance, incompetence," Davis said.
Whatever Walker's office decides to do, with no major elections scheduled for this year, there's plenty of time to implement any new contingency plans in her office.