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Florida seeks more election changes

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and the state elections office are preparing to ask the Legislature for more power to regulate the state's elections.

Included will be more latitude to decide which voters should be purged from voting rolls, The Miami Herald reported Monday.

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The changes would give the secretary of state, who is appointed by the Republican governor, the authority to seek criminal charges and finds against any of the state's elected elections supervisors who fail to follow the rules.

"This is just Florida continuing to look at ways to improve our election process," said Jacob DiPietre, spokesman for the governor's office.

The proposals have drawn criticism from elections supervisors and Democrats, and even the Republican Senate President Tom Lee isn't so sure.

Lee called the measures paternalistic, "especially since it is a power being sought over constitutional officers at the local level."

Florida has been tinkering with its election machinery since 2000 when the Supreme Court decided the presidential election, essentially giving President Bush the office by 537 votes.

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