Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Elections Head Cannon Ready to Go Incoming Supervisor Will Have Busy Start

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Elections Head Cannon Ready to Go Incoming Supervisor Will Have Busy Start

Article excerpt

Through all the turmoil, all the legal battles and all the recounts following the presidential election, Nassau County Supervisor of Elections-elect Vicki Cannon sat back and watched.

During the same election that left Florida and Nassau County in an uproar, Cannon was elected to be the county's first new elections supervisor in 20 years.

Even though she was about to take over the office, Cannon said she was content to let her predecessor, Shirley N. King, and other county officials sort out the mess. It was a great learning experience.

"I was able to sit back and observe and just respect those that have the authority to handle the situation," Cannon said last week, shortly before she officially took over the reins. "I have read a lot and learned a lot and a lot of people have furnished me information already."

Cannon comes to the job with many years of public service experience. She was the longtime city clerk for Fernandina Beach during several tumultuous years that saw a large turnover of city managers. She also worked with the elections supervisor's office during city elections.

Cannon said she has several priorities for the office. One of them, increasing voter interest, appears to have gotten a huge shot in the arm from the presidential election, which was one of the closest in history and, according to elections officials, showed people that every vote counts.

"One of the greatest things that has happened was decreasing voter apathy," Cannon said. "That was one of my big goals, and a big chunk of that has been taken care of. But it still needs to be further decreased."

Cannon said other goals include upgrading the county's voting equipment, setting up a new staff and implementing voter education in schools.

She said she thinks the Legislature will discuss, and she hopes implement, a standardized voting method for the entire state.

"I'm optimistic the state will go to a uniform system. I look forward to the Florida Legislature doing that. I hope they do that," she said.

In the meantime, Cannon will look at voting systems in other counties and states to determine which one she thinks would be best for Nassau County if the state doesn't make the decision for her. …

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