Lori Scott, who is leaving her job as Supervisor of Elections for Brevard County, took to social media over the weekend to dispel rumours that her sudden resignation announcement on Friday was due to illness or that Gov. Ron DeSantis forced her to leave.
Scott posted on Facebook on Friday that she was leaving her job, and that her last day would be Oct. 4.
People started to wonder why she quit in the middle of her four-year term and right before the midterm elections in 2022. In that election, the race for governor is between Republican Ron DeSantis and former Republican governor Charlie Crist, who is now a Democrat.
DeSantis will get to choose who will replace Scott.
Scott, a Republican, wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday, under the heading “Rumors about my retirement,” “No, the governor did not force me or push me out (I’m not even sure how that would be possible).”
1/4 It is with a heavy heart I share the bittersweet news that I submitted my letter of resignation to Governor DeSantis. After 32 years in public service, it is time to begin the next chapter of my life. 🧵 pic.twitter.com/ad5oCkZZkO
— Lori Scott, Supervisor of Elections (@votebrevard) September 2, 2022
She also said, “No, I’m not dying (well, not any more than you or me)” in response to another rumour.
She also said, “No, I didn’t win the lottery. I don’t know who started this rumour, but it makes me happy to think about it.”
Scott’s sudden resignation sparked a lot of talk on social media. People called her decision “ominous,” “very suspicious,” “regrettable,” and “part of a larger plan to carry out a right coup all over the state.”
Leaving the job: Brevard elections chief Lori Scott says she is resigning in a surprise announcement.
Pressure from group: Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott was pressured to ‘fix’ and publish voter registration rolls.
Scott wrote on Facebook that, in response to the rumours, “Even though this seems like a sudden choice, I’ve been talking about it with my family for a long time. It wasn’t a question of whether I would retire this year, but when.”
Scott said that she decided to retire after the primary election on August 16 but before the general election on November 8 instead of waiting until after the general election.
“Because the primary is the most important election we’ve held since major changes to election laws were made in 2021 and 2022, I didn’t feel comfortable retiring before the August primary,” Scott wrote.
“But now that we’ve successfully put all of the new laws into effect, I’m happy to hand over control to my incredibly hardworking staff, who have a combined 210 years of election experience,” Scott wrote. “I do not doubt that they will keep the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Office’s great reputation.”
Scott wrote in the earlier Facebook post that she was leaving: “After 32 years of working for the government, it’s time for me to move on to the next part of my life. Over the past 14 years, I have had the honour of working with my hardworking staff and poll workers in 27 elections.”
Even though both Republicans and Democrats have praised Scott for how well she runs elections, some members of the local GOP have accused her of voting irregularities in the 2020 presidential election.
In June, the Brevard Republican Executive Committee passed a resolution that supported the work of Defend Florida, a grass-roots group that backs Donald Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud. Defend Florida has said that Scott didn’t do a good job of keeping voter registration lists up-to-date, which would let tens of thousands of Brevard voters who weren’t eligible to vote to do so in 2020.
Over the past year, the group has sent Scott’s office several difficult requests for public records. In some cases, they were sent bills for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Later, the Brevard Republican Party backed Trump’s false claims that Democrats “stole” the election by passing a resolution that said President Joe Biden’s election was “not legitimate.”In her letter of resignation to DeSantis, Scott recommended her director of information technology, Tim Bobanic, for her position after the resignation takes effect.
Scott wrote in a letter to DeSantis, “Mr Bobanic’s 13.5 years of experience in Florida’s elections, knowledge of the complexities of running elections in Brevard, and invaluable knowledge of our cybersecurity protocols would make for a smooth transition, which I think is important as we head into the General Election on Nov. 8.”
Since February 2013, Botanic has worked at the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Office. Before that, from April 2009 to February 2013, he worked at the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office.
Scott wrote in her Facebook post: “It has never been about one person in this office. It’s about all of us, and the patriotism and pride that run through this county have always made me proud to be your supervisor, to have grown up here, and to raise my sons here.”
In 2008, Scott was first chosen to be the supervisor of elections. She won a close Republican primary with 29.27% of the vote. There were four candidates. She then won a general election with 56.37% of the vote against a Democrat and a candidate who didn’t belong to a party.
Scott was re-elected in 2012, 2016, and 2020 with no one running against him.
Scott worked as the legislative chief for Florida Sen. Mike Haridopolos before he became the supervisor of elections. Before that, Scott worked as a legislative assistant for Bill Posey, who was the representative for Florida at the time and is now a member of Congress. She also used to work in the office of Tim Deratany, who was a senator from Florida at the time.
The salary for the job of supervisor of elections is $153,242 per year.
The next election for the position of supervisor of elections will be on November 5, 2024, and the winner will take office on January 7, 2025.
A part of the Florida Constitution says that the governor can appoint someone to finish out Scott’s term, which is less than 28 months.
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