“Florida bends voting rules in counties pummeled by Hurricane Michael”

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Florida eased restrictions Thursday on vote-by-mail ballots in eight counties ravaged last week by Hurricane Michael, while also giving elections supervisors more time to conduct early voting.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner, the state’s top election official, said the changes included in an executive order by Gov. Rick Scott were requested by local supervisors and are intended to help displaced voters in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Liberty, and Washington counties.

“With the general election less than three weeks away, this unprecedented storm has impacted the normal operations of administering an election in counties that were hit hardest,” Detzner’s office said in a news release.

The changes do not include allowing voters to cast ballots by fax or email.

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