‘We had worked hard’: Gov. DeSantis applauds Laurel Lee’s Primary Election oversight
During a news conference at Florida State University, Ron DeSantis refused to weigh in on visa requirements for Bahamas evacuees. Image via FSU.

The Division of Elections staff fielded more than 1,000 calls from Florida voters.

Gov. Ron DeSantis applauded Secretary of State Laurel Lee on Wednesday for her oversight of the Florida 2020 Primary Election.

“We had worked hard,” DeSantis said. “[The] Secretary of State helping our Supervisors with making sure their systems were good and I think they did a really good job. We’ll learn if there was anything to do for additional support before the General Election.”

Lee’s office overcame myriad COVID-19-related challenges ahead of the Tuesday primary. In the end, she reported the 2020 primary was carried out smoothly across the state with only a few isolated instances that were ultimately remedied.

Notably, she also told reporters late Tuesday, combined voter turnout was “higher than average” despite a “light to medium” in-person voter turnout on Election Day.

DeSantis noted the rise and importance of early voting and mail-in ballots in Florida.

“We had a lot of mail voting in Florida,” DeSantis said. “It’s a safe way to do it. You request the ballot, you get it, you send it in. It’s not just ballots floating everywhere so a lot of folks availed themselves of that and that (is) obviously something that will be available in the fall as well.”

Lee said official election results are due to the Division of Elections no later than 5 p.m. Aug. 25 and then will be presented to the Elections Canvassing Commission for certification the next day.

Florida’s role in the 2020 Presidential election is not lost on DeSantis and Lee, who said Tuesday that her work is far from over.

“Today was not the finish line,” she said. “We still have much work to do to prepare for November’s Presidential Election, to ensure that voters are registered and aware of their voting options.”

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


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