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Election Security

Let's Talk about Safe and Secure Elections

For 35 years I enforced the law, retiring as a Major for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. So when you ask me, as your Supervisor of Elections, about election security, I have a unique perspective. Generally, people are concerned about two things:

star bullet iconCan we be sure that only eligible voters can vote, and only vote once?

star bullet iconCan we trust that the reported results are accurate?

The answer is yes, and yes. As you read my top ten reason why, keep in mind that these safeguards are established in law and in place in all 67 counties in Florida.

Unfortunately, fear and suspicion can be as dangerous to our democracy as a compromised election. I am doing everything I can to give our community confidence in our election process. After three decades in law enforcement, my commitment to integrity and compliance has never wavered, and I am focused every day on ensuring that Hillsborough County’s elections are safe and secure.

Top Ten Reasons Your Vote is Safe and Secure

Registration and Voting
1. The Florida Division of Elections checks each voter registration application to verify the applicant’s identity, and works with other agencies to identify deceased voters and felons who are ineligible to  vote.

2. Voters show photo and signature identification to vote.

3. We update voter records electronically to record when a voter has requested a mail ballot or voted. If someone comes to vote in person, we immediately cancel their mail ballot. And vice versa.

4. Voters can vote a provisional ballot if there’s a question about their eligibility.
Tabulation and Tampering
5. Our state-certified equipment is tested before each election with a public logic and accuracy test to make sure machines are counting votes correctly. During this test, we put pre-marked ballots in a randomly selected sample of our machines to make sure the count is what it’s supposed to be and that every position on the ballot is being read by each machine. 

6. Our ballots and equipment are under 24-hour camera surveillance and stored in areas with restricted key card access until they are deployed for voting. During voting, our ballot scanners are kept in plain sight, secured with seals to prohibit tampering.

7. Our voter registration system is not connected to our tabulation system. We use a stand-alone server, not connected to the Internet, to tabulate and report results.

8. Electronic results from each ballot scanner are encrypted and backed up by paper results tapes that are posted on the doors of each polling place and driven to our central office. We double check our initial results against these tapes.

9. We vote on hand-marked, paper ballots that are held for 22 months and can be re-scanned if there is a problem with the equipment or question about results.

10. Every Florida county conducts a manual or electronic post-election audit. We audit 100% of our ballots by digitally scanning them through an independent system to verify our results. 

Publications

Election Integrity - Top 10 (English)

Election Integrity - Top 10 (Spanish)

Counting Every Vote - Tampa Bay Times 


CONTACT


Office Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Main Phone: (813) 744-5900 Toll Free: (888) 297-4362 Email: Voter@hcsoe.org

Fred B. Karl County Center (Main Office)

601 E. Kennedy Blvd., 16th Floor
Tampa, FL 33602
Tel: (813) 272-5850
Fax: (813) 272-7043

Robert L. Gilder Elections Service Center

2514 North Falkenburg Rd.
Tampa, FL 33619
Tel: (813) 744-5900
Fax: (813) 744-5843

Northwest Regional Office

4575 Gunn Hwy.
Tampa, FL 33624
 
 

Southeast Regional Office

10020 South U.S. Hwy. 301
Riverview, FL 33578

Please note: Florida has a very broad public records law. Voter registration applications and other written communications to or from the Supervisor of Elections are public records and are available to the public and media upon request unless the information is subject to a specific statutory exemption. Email addresses are also public records. If you do  not want your email address released in response to a public records request, please contact us by mail or phone, or visit us in person. To request public records, contact the communications department by emailing  voter@hcsoe.org or calling (813) 744-5900.