Elections Office Status Report

When Alan Hays took office in January 2017, the Lake County Supervisor of Elections office began transitioning into the 21st century by initiating several new methodologies and policies.
This report is a summary listing of those projects in no order of importance nor sequence of occurrence.
One of the first major changes was the complete overhaul of our website.  The new site is more comprehensive and easier to use.  We have the capability to update the site from our office daily if needed.
The conversion to electronic poll books was another major step. These books replaced the paper precinct registers in use for the previous 100 years. Electronic books offer greatly enhanced security and make the check-in of in-person voters much easier.
Another major change was the installation of the Ballot on Demand process for all early voting sites.  Ballot on Demand is the process whereby each individual ballot is printed for the voter as the voter checks in. Ballot security is improved significantly, and this measure saves money by eliminating wasted pre-printed ballots.  The likelihood of issuing an incorrect ballot to a voter is eliminated.
The Florida Supervisor of Elections Association (FSE), in collaboration with Florida State University, has a program of professional education for the supervisors and employees.  Persons completing this 30-course curriculum earn the designation of Master, Florida Certified Election Professional (MFCEP). Prior to January 2017, no one employed by this office had earned that designation. Today, thanks to the new policies instituted by Alan, 11 employees, including Alan, have earned the MFCEP certification, and 7 more are nearing the completion of the program.
In 2018 our office relocated to our current location on US 441 in Tavares. The new location is much more accessible to the voters.  This new location enabled us to consolidate our entire operation under one roof instead of being split between Mt. Dora and Tavares.  This facility is now undersized due to the rapid growth of Lake County.  We are seeking to relocate to a larger facility on property currently owned by Lake County.
Speaking of rapid growth, between the 2016 election and the 2020 election, we increased our total number of registered voters by more than 42,000 voters. From 2016 through 2023 we have added more than 60,000 additional voters to our registration rolls.  These growth figures show no signs of slowing in the next few years.  At the same time, we have faithfully been following the Florida statutes and rules for removing inactive voters from our rolls.
These new voters require the addition of new voting locations which in turn, require more equipment and election workers. The new voters also bring an increase in workload for our office team thus we have added more personnel. The new equipment must be properly stored and maintained which has resulted in a significant increase in storage space needed by the office.
To improve the services to our voters, the office is now organized into five divisions with a director guiding the work of each division. This organizational structure enables us to define the responsibilities of each team member more clearly to better serve the needs of the voters.
We have made significant improvements to our cybersecurity capabilities.  We are protected by several layers of security measures and have our systems monitored for any suspicious activity.  Our tabulations systems are completely free of using the internet at all.  Our email and routine internet usage are separate from the voter registration database.  This separation gives us three “silos” of operational efficiency and security.
We have acquired new equipment to better serve the needs of our disabled community members. These new machines have several features that enable visually impaired people to mark their own ballot without assistance and even make it possible for those without use of their hands to mark their ballot using a sip and puff device.
We have revised the training of our election workers for early voting and election day voting.  We continue to use in-person training and we now augment that with online training as well.  Online access allows the workers to review the processes on their own time as often as they would like to study the processes.
Our storage and distribution of election equipment and supplies has been revised and greatly enhanced. 
Our Vote-by-Mail system is now highly organized and we have adopted several uses of technology to better serve those using the Vote-by-Mail option of casting their ballots. We have also improved the security measures related to voting by mail. Every single signature on a returned ballot is specifically matched against the signature on file for that voter.  Without the matching signature, no ballots are counted unless that voter has completed the signature cure process by the mandatory deadline.  We have added the capability for voters to track the progress of their vote-by- mail ballot from the time we mail it to them through the time the ballot is counted.
We have added a second tabulation system that is completely separate from the primary tabulation system.  This secondary tabulation system is approved by the Division of Elections Bureau of Standards.  This provides an accurate comparison of both tabulation systems very quickly for each election.
We have offered and continue to offer tours of our office on Tuesday and Thursday.  These tours are accessible by signing up online through our website or by calling the office.
As so many aspects of our daily lives are continuously changing, so too is the work of the elections team.
As we move into the future, you have our commitment to continue the level of professionalism and integrity you, the voters of Lake County, expect and deserve from your Supervisor of Elections office. 
Our office is fully committed to honoring the four points of commitment we made to you in 2017. Those points are:

  1. Voter Confidence
  2. Excellent Customer Service
  3. Accurate and efficient elections
  4. Responsible financial stewardship

Speaking of financial stewardship, we have returned to the County Commission every year, surplus funds from our budget.  Through wise expenditures and judicious acquisition of grant funds, we have been able to return to the commission more than $3 million through the seven-year period.

Thank you for the privilege of being the custodian of the foundation of our Republic, our voting systems and equipment.


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Alan Hays for Supervisor of Elections, Lake County
PO Box 2326, Umatilla, FL 32784
Office: 352-205-2004   ~   Send Email