18,000 Missing Ballots in Florida's 13th District Underscore Flaws in Electronic Voting System
Interview with Holly Jacobson, co-director of the group Voter Action, conducted by Scott Harris
In Florida, the home of contested elections, the state's 13th Congressional District is the focus of growing national attention after election results there Nov. 7 revealed some 18,000 missing ballots. Initial vote totals had Republican Vern Buchanan with a razor thin edge of only 368 votes over his opponent, Democrat Christine Jennings in the former district of controversial Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris.
But after a required recount, the Jennings campaign grew suspicious when they found that more than 18,000 ballots cast in Sarasota County had not included a vote in the House race. Many voters interviewed by the local press said they believed that votes cast on ES&S electronic touch-screen machines had not accurately counted their votes. Because these voting machines have no paper trail, there is no method of locating or recounting the missing ballots. According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, if the lost votes had broken for Jennings by the same percentage as others cast in the county, the Democratic candidate would have won the race by about 600 votes.
Christine Jennings is contesting the result, and along with a group of Sarasota County voters, has filed a suit demanding a new election. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Holly Jacobson, co-founder and co-director of the group Voter Action which has called for a formal, independent investigation of the flaws in the 13th District's electronic voting machinery. She explains why getting all the facts in this contested Florida election could help safeguard the integrity of future elections across the nation.
Contact Voter Action by calling (206) 723-1941, or visit the group's website at www.voteraction.org
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