CHARLES WILLIAMS, Democrat
FAMILY: Spouse: Joann Williams; three children; one daughter, two sons, ages 25, 27 and 35.
EDUCATION: Manatee High School, 1981; Manatee Junior College, 1982; B.S., theology, Emmaus Baptist College, 2008.
PROFESSIONAL CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: I have worked in the machine industry for 20 years. I worked at Wellcraft, Chris Craft and Donzi Marine, where I was a part of the management team. I had 15 people under my direct supervision with an additional 65 who worked under my directive. I am the founding Pastor of King of Kings Baptist Church, where I currently serve as pastor.
FUN FACT: I enjoy hosting gatherings with my family and friends. I also enjoy attending high school and college football games.
What attributes do you bring to this office that separate you from your opponent?
The ability to be reasonable with others and solve conflict in a professional manner.
What specific skills or experience do you have that qualifies you more than your opponent to serve as the supervisor of elections?
My leadership background has provided me with experience that will enable me to work with employees and for the public at large.
This experience includes being a member of various boards of directors. These boards include civic, schools and business entities.
What do you see as the biggest challenges that will face the supervisor of elections in the next two to three years and how would you propose these challenges be addressed?
We live in an ever-changing society where rules and guidelines are continuously changing. Therefore, my office will always comply with the law as written.
What will be your top three priorities if you are elected?
My top priorities will include:
1. Encourage voter participation. In Manatee County we have approximately 380,000-plus citizens. Records show, on average, only 200,000 vote.
2. Focus on educating our citizenry as to why we should vote.
3. To lessen the long lines at the various precincts, I will encourage voting by mail.
Florida Gov. Rick has been trying to purge the state’s registered voter rolls of illegal voters. Many people have protested that he is targeting minorities and democrats. What is your view of Gov. Scott’s efforts-agree or disagree and why?
I disagree with Gov. Scott. I believe it’s the supervisor of elections’ responsibility to purge the rolls of illegal voters in compliance with the law.
If elected, would you advocate to the Legislature that Florida require all voters to present a valid picture I.D. before they vote?
Yes, I believe this a reasonable request.
Americans routinely purchase goods and services through secure, online credit-card systems. What is your view of online voting?
We live in an electronic age where anything can happen, including a greater possibility of fraud. My preference is to utilize the paper ballet.
If elected, how will you make the supervisor of elections office more economically efficient?
I can’t answer this question without being there. If elected, I will review all areas to determine what action I will need to take to address this question.
What is your vision for the office of the Manatee Supervisor of Elections?
My vision is that Manatee County will become known as the county that votes. I will work toward having a record of 85% to 95% of our citizens voting.
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