Sarasota News Leader

09/28/12

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NOTHING NEW Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho addresses the Democratic Club of Sarasota on Wednesday, Sept. 26. Photo by Cooper Levey-Baker LEON COUNTY SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS DISCUSSES GOP VOTER SUPPRESSION IN FLORIDA By Cooper Levey-Baker Associate Editor Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion San- cho railed against the Florida Legislature's new voting rights restrictions during a Dem- ocratic Club of Sarasota meeting held this week, while also acknowledging that the roll- back effort is hardly "new to the United States of America." Sancho is an outspoken and well-known ad- vocate for clean and open elections who has achieved record voter participation numbers: 86% of Leon County voters cast a ballot in the 2008 general election. He has repeatedly testified on the topic of vot- ing rights and technology, and he is consid- ered a national expert. Sancho's talk was mostly a history lesson. He described a voting process that had become increasingly sophisticated after the 2000 Bush v. Gore debacle, with a series of new rules and technological advancements that made Flori- da a leader in clean elections. "We fought many wars," he said. "We ham- mered this out on a bipartisan basis." By 2006, he said, Florida was the envy of other states because of its sophisticated system.

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