Central Florida counties hire ballot drop box security guards to discourage copycat arson attacks

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A case of ballot box arson across the country has elections officials on alert here in Central Florida.

Some local counties are responding by posting security guards inches from the boxes to attempt to protect the ballots dropped there.

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With the global pandemic, voting by mail has been more popular than ever with more than 4.2 million Floridians already casting their ballots by mail. With that, protecting those votes has become a bigger concern.

In Brevard County, they have guards at the ballot drop boxes now 24 hours a day.

Supervisor of Elections Lori Scott said while many of the ballots are still going through the mail, so far about 45% of vote-by-mail ballots have been put in the drop boxes.

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“And it’s very important to me that every ballot, no matter how it is returned has that same level of security as if you were putting that ballot through the tabulator,” Scott said.

She’s hoping having guards in place will discourage any would-be copycats who would try to destroy ballots.

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Lake County has one box that’s available 24 hours a day, and the county also has security watching that one in the overnight hours.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.