Local leaders reflect on 2018 General Election

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Plans for voting in the 2018 General Election changed in Bay County due to Hurricane Michael. Bay County Supervisor of Elections Mark Andersen held a meeting with local organizations Thursday to hear their questions and concerns about the election. Andersen said 70 percent of the scheduled precincts where damaged during the storm.

During the meeting, Andersen talked about the email ballots used during the election. He said more than 130 displaced storm victims voted in the election.

"An E-ballot is a valid image that has been voted on by a legitimate voter and it’s cast no different than an overseas voter that has been able to do except it’s sent via email," explained Andersen.

Andersen also spoke about the eight mega voting sites use during the election. Attendees at the meeting voiced their opinions about selecting precincts, improving communication and other concerns. Many believe that the meeting will help future elections.

"The county had a lot of innovative plans and some very thoughtful ways of addressing voters in general," said Cecile Scoon with the Bay County League of Women Voters.

Andersen also said only 151 election officials worked precincts, less than half of workers scheduled before the hurricane. Andersen stated the voter turn out for the 2018 election was higher than the previous one.