March 09, 2004

Lawmaker sues to add paper trail to Florida's new voting machines

The LNS's very short list of VP candidates for Sen.
John F. Kerry, as you probably know, is led by Wesley
Clark (D-NATO), but Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fraudida) is
also right there...Graham has spoken eloquently on
both Iraq (he voted AGAINST the damnable war
resolution) and 9/11 (he has led the struggle against
the cover-up) AND he is blunt and candid about what
happened in his home state in 2000, and he is a former two-term Governor of Florida, indeed, he has never lost an election in Florida, AND he is a persuasive retail politician, and formidable debater on economic issues as well as intelligence and foreign affairs, AND Bill Clinton suggested Al Gore run with Graham instead of Sen. Joe Lieberman ("D"-Sanctimonicutt)...Yes, yes, Kerry-Graham would thrust the abomination of 2000 into the race and provide a compelling sub-text to the issues of Economic Security and National Security, thereby underscoring the ILLEGITIMACY of the Bush regime just as its CREDIBILITY, CHARACTER and COMPETENCE are judged inadequate by the majority of the US electorate...

Jill Barton, Associated Press: Florida's voting
machines came under attack again Monday when a
lawmaker sued state election supervisors because new
ballot counters lack a paper trail needed for possible
recounts. Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler said
voters need to be assured every vote is counted,
particularly in close races where a manual recount is
required by law.


Thwart the Theft of a Second Presidential Election,
Show Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/southflorida/sfl-308election,0,2082656.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines


Lawmaker sues to add paper trail to Florida's new voting machines

By Jill Barton
Associated Press Writer
Posted March 8 2004, 7:11 PM EST

WEST PALM BEACH -- Florida's voting machines came
under attack again Monday when a lawmaker sued state
election supervisors because new ballot counters lack
a paper trail needed for possible recounts.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler said voters need to
be assured every vote is counted, particularly in
close races where a manual recount is required by law.

``Why doesn't Gov. Bush simply say, ``Let's improve
our Florida election system even more than we've done
so, provide for certainty and provide for security and
in case something goes wrong, have a back up?'''
Wexler said moments after filing the lawsuit in
federal court. ``Then all Floridians, Republicans and
Democrats and Independents alike can have confidence
in our system.''

The Department of State notified elections supervisors
last month that manual recounts don't have to include
ballots from Florida's new touchscreen voting machines
because there is no question about how voters intended
to vote.

The computerized voting machines replaced the state's
infamous punch card ballots, which produced the
dimpled, hanging and pregnant chads at the heart of
the 2000 presidential election controversy. The
confusion over vote counting led to 36 days of
recounts which ultimately awarded George W. Bush the
presidency.

Hours before Florida voters head to the polls for the
2004 presidential primary, Wexler said the machines,
which were expected to rid Florida of ballot
controversies, have created new problems and violate
the U.S. constitution because only some Florida
counties can accurately conduct recounts.

Indian River County Supervisor of Elections Kay Clem,
president of the Florida State Association of
Elections Supervisors, said the paper receipts are
unnecessary because the machines already can print out
an audit at the end of an election day.

Klem said those who argue that the votes inside the
machines can be ignored or changed through some
malfunction or deliberate action are not considering
the security measures already in place.

``Our machines don't have modems. They're not
networked,'' Klem said. ``Somebody would have to go
into each polling place and go from machine to machine
and tamper with them while the polling workers are
there.''

Since Florida replaced its old voting system with the
new touchscreen voting machines, ballot printers have
been embraced most enthusiastically by Democrats and
groups still angry about 2000.

Officials hoped to avoid the problems of the last
presidential election, when some voters claimed they
weren't allowed to cast ballots because they were
mistaken for convicted felons, were omitted from voter
rolls, didn't provide identification even though it
wasn't necessary or didn't understand English.

Other voters, notably in Wexler's home county of Palm
Beach, said a confusing ballot design, dubbed the
butterfly ballot, led them to vote for the wrong
candidate.

Although the new voting machines solved many concerns,
new questions arose about whether they could be
trusted to tally votes without a paper record of
results. Critics say the machines are susceptible to
errors and fraud and that a paper trail is needed in
case a re-count is required.

``We need everything and anything that will make
people feel comfortable that their votes will be
counted,'' said Palm Beach Commissioner Addie Greene.
``I don't think the public has much confidence in the
system the way it is now.''

Palm Beach elections supervisor Theresa LePore said
the punch card machines also did not allow for a paper
receipt where voters could double-check their ballots.
Although she believes the printers are unnecessary,
she said that if the voters and state Legislature
approve them, ``so be it.''

LePore, Klem, and Secretary of State Glenda Hood are
named in the suit.

A spokeswoman for Hood declined to comment on the
lawsuit but said Hood is ``very comfortable with the
equipment we have in place and very confident it will
produce accurate results.'' Email story
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Copyright 2004, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Posted by richard at March 9, 2004 10:20 AM