DeSantis suspends Susan Bucher over election controversy, appoints replacement
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) —
Citing broken laws and a recount that became a national embarrassment, Governor Ron DeSantis suspended Palm Beach County’s Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher Friday.
The governor named prominent local attorney Wendy Link to fill the remaining two years of Bucher’s term.
There had been rumblings DeSantis would make such a move upon taking office.
Supervisor Bucher becomes the third elected official to be suspended by the new governor.
“The elections office in Palm Beach County demonstrated on a national stage that they simply could not comply with the laws of the state,” said Gov.DeSantis on the steps of Palm Beach County’s historic courthouse.
DeSantis said the reason was Bucher’s performance in the recent election, specifically saying she failed to comply with certain state laws and failed to conduct the mandated recounts on time.
“Palm Beach County did not complete the state mandated recount until 50 days after the election,” said Gov. DeSantis.
“Palm Beach County stands alone in that level of ineptitude,” the governor continued. “They’ve truly been the Keystone Cops of elected administration.”
But Supervisor Bucher had repeatedly complained about the antiquated machinery she had for recounting ballots. She said an anticipated state law change regarding Americans with Disabilities Act requirements forced her to hold off replacing the machines.
“If you’re preparing for an election, it’s your responsibility and duty to make sure you can conduct that election,” DeSantis said, when asked about Bucher’s assertions.
Gov. DeSantis named local attorney Wendy Link to replace Bucher. Link boasts an impressive resume and promised to restore voter confidence.
“For the next two years, I’m going to ensure that Palm Beach County is well prepared for every election, that everyone in our county has the assurance and the sense of security that their vote will count,” said Link.
“We’re going to be impartial, non-partisan in the way we conduct ourselves,” Link added. “We’ll comply with all the laws and regulations.”
Link serves on the board of governors of the state university system, as well as the board of the local chamber of commerce.
She said she would only fill out Bucher’s term, and would not seek election in two years.