TAMPA, Fla. -- Election security has always been a huge issue.

States, including Florida, have always had elaborate election security measures in place, but in recent decades, even more procedures have been put in place.

Florida was infamous in 2000 for the Bush-Gore recount fiasco and in other years had equipment failures and sometimes took days to get 100 percent of the ballots counted.

But no more.

On this episode of To The Point Already, Bay News 9 anchors Rick Elmhorst and Roy De Jesus talk with Bay area Supervisors of Elections about the voting process, secure elections and why election changes in past years add up to well-run elections now.

"Transparency is everything with what we do," said Pasco County Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley, on the election process.

Corley, along with Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer, point to key events in the improvement in Florida voting, including the recent creation of the Florida Office of Election Crimes and Security.

In 2000, some counties used the infamous punch card ballots with their hanging, dimpled and punctured chads. Those belong the history.

After an aborted attempt at using touchscreen computers in the mid-2000s, which left no paper trail, the state mandated paper ballots with machine counting more than a decade ago.

The state also adopted early voting and voters no longer have to say they are sick or out-of-town to request a mail-in ballot.

"Any registered voter that wishes to can request a vote by mail ballot," Latimer said.

These changes have not only allowed for a smoother voting process, but tabulating votes is quicker and more efficient. In fact, Florida typically begins counting mail-in ballots weeks before Election Day.

And after that comes statewide election audits for every county.

Heading into another election season, Corley and Latimer expressed how critical it is for voters to have confidence in their election system.

"It's ironic," Corley said of his position. "Because this job is at the epicenter of all things local politics.

"(And) it is the most non-political job there is and that is for good reason."


Spectrum Bay News 9 anchor Rick Elmhorst sits down with the people that represent you, the people fighting for change and the people with fascinating stories to ask the hard questions.

Catch up on our latest To The Point Already podcast episodes.