Florida Secretary of State Lee resigns amid legal challenges, election preparations | State and Regional News

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TALLAHASSEE — Florida Secretary of Condition Laurel Lee submitted her resignation to Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday, stepping down amid many lawful problems to state election guidelines and though preparations are under way for the 2022 midterms.

Lee reported her final day would be Monday, a thirty day period ahead of the candidate qualifying interval commences for condition and congressional races. She did not say why she was quitting.

“Together we safeguarded and grew Florida’s competitive business local weather, preserved Florida’s outstanding historic means, supported Florida’s arts and cultural neighborhood, and strengthened Florida’s election procedure,” Lee said in her letter to the governor.

Aside from overseeing the state elections method, the secretary of state is in cost of the divisions of arts and society, corporations, historical resources and library and details solutions.

“As Secretary of Point out, she aided ensure Florida experienced an productive election in 2020, with accurate results,” reported Taryn Fenske, the governor’s communications director. “Further, all through her tenure, the Office of Point out formed powerful partnerships with federal businesses to make positive Florida obtained all possible federal assets that are obtainable to stop and react to cyber threats on elections.”

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DeSantis wasted no time appointing Lee, a Hillsborough County circuit judge at the time, to change his initially Secretary of Point out Mike Ertel of Seminole County right after shots of him in blackface emerged fewer than a month into his tenure.

She oversaw numerous election reforms and pc procedure updates that resulted in a clean, uncontested election in 2020 right after many years of the point out being the laughingstock of election disasters.

Florida’s jogging of the 2020 election was held as a product for other states to stick to. Nonetheless, she and the governor were pressured by a number of teams to audit the election amid ongoing false promises from ex-President Trump and his supporters that the election was rigged. Lee and DeSantis stood by the election effects.

Lee shouldered the duty, on the other hand, for a substantial failure of the on the net voting registration technique on the evening of the deadline to register for the Nov. 3, 2020 election. The technique crashed when tens of millions of individuals tried out to sign into it at after and Lee extended the deadline until eventually 7 p.m. the following working day.

She was also criticized for not providing ample transparency about which counties were being hacked all through the 2016 elections and the methods her office environment was taking to protect against that from taking place in the long run.

The announcement, initially reported by Florida Politics, will come a working day soon after Leon Circuit Decide Layne Smith, a DeSantis appointee, dominated that the state’s congressional redistricting approach was unconstitutional since it diminished the capability of Black voters in North Florida Congressional District 5 to elect their individual applicant.

Smith has issued an injunction blocking implementation of the map, drawn by DeSantis’ staffers after he vetoed the redistricting prepare accredited by the Legislature in the course of standard session. The point out is most likely to attraction the ruling.

Meanwhile, various voting rights groups refiled a revamped federal go well with Thursday from the congressional redistricting system.

Equally the injunction and Lee’s resignation are occurring with prospect qualifying quick approaching. A records research of the Division of Elections discovered no proof that Lee has submitted to run for office environment.

“We’re sorry to see her go as Secretary of Point out,” Leon County Supervisor of Elections Mark Earley stated. “She’s been a terrific spouse with finding assets in supervisors’ hands, she improved our cybersecurity posture and was proactive developing a partnership in between federal, condition and nearby organizations.”

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