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View Full Version : Florida 2000- again?



Qtec
09-30-2004, 02:46 AM
Long http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=566688

Here is an excerpt.

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Palm Beach isn't the only place in Florida where crazy things have happened. Officials up and down the state have behaved like drunks caught out on one bender too many. They have talked the talk of reform quite convincingly, and even lavished considerable expense on covering up their past lapses. But the bottom line is that the voting machines still don't work, political corruption and underhand campaign tactics remain rampant, and too many black and lower-income voters face daunting, often insurmountable obstacles in exercising their voting rights.

In a state that promises to be every bit as pivotal as it was last time, this is deeply worrying. And Palm Beach County shows why. After the 2000 débâcle, an unrepentant Theresa LePore was told by the state of Florida that she and her fellow election supervisors would have to replace the punchcard machines that had exposed the state to such ridicule. She flew to California, where she was quickly seduced by an electronic touchscreen voting system used in Riverside County, just east of Los Angeles.

She was told that Riverside's system had performed flawlessly in November 2000, even as she and her canvassing board had been hung up for weeks examining punchcards for dimpled, hanging or pregnant chads. But Riverside's tabulation system had in fact suffered meltdown on election night, creating the first of many controversies about the reliability and accuracy of its Sequoia Pacific machines.

Blissfully unaware of this, LePore spent $14.4m (£8m) on her own Sequoia system and unveiled it for local elections in March 2002. It seems to have fallen at the first hurdle. A former mayor of Boca Raton, Emil Danciu, was flabbergasted to finish third in a race for a seat on Boca Raton city council. A poll shortly before the election had put him 17 points ahead of his nearest rival.

Supporters told his campaign office that when they tried to touch the screen to light up his name, the machine registered the name of an opponent. Danciu also found that 15 cartridges containing the vote totals from machines in his home precinct had disappeared on election night, delaying the result. It transpired that an election worker had taken them home, in violation of the most basicprocedures. Danciu's lawyer, his daughter Charlotte, said some cartridges were then found to be empty, for reasons that have never been adequately explained. Danciu sued for access to the Sequoia source code to see if it was flawed. He was told that the source code was considered a trade secret under Florida law, and that even LePore and her staff were not authorised to examine it, on pain of criminal prosecution. His suit was thrown out.

Two weeks later, something even stranger happened. In the town of Wellington, a run-off election for mayor was decided by just four votes - but 78 votes did not register on the machines at all. This meant - assuming for a moment that the machines were not lying - that 78 people had driven to the polls, not voted, and gone home again.
The scenario beggared belief, but it was touted, with a straight face, by LePore. Then and since, she has refused to acknowledge even the slightest flaw in the voting machines, and has resisted with all her might a growing clamour for a voter-verifiable paper trail as a back-up. "She's defended the system almost to the point where it's been ridiculous," Charlotte Danciu said. "She treated us as though we were sore losers, andas though we were imbeciles. The tenor of what she told us was that if people were too dumb to vote on electronic machines, they shouldn't be voting."
More phantom non-voters showed up in an election in Palm Beach County in January. Again, those supposedly present but not voting (137 people) greatly exceeded the margin of victory (12 votes). That persuaded a local Democrat Congressman, Robert Wexler, to sue LePore and the state of Florida to force them to adopt a paper trail. The case is pending.

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Is the election already decided?

Q

Wally_in_Cincy
09-30-2004, 05:37 AM
[ QUOTE ]
too many black and lower-income voters face daunting, often insurmountable obstacles in exercising their voting rights.
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Give me a break.

Qtec
09-30-2004, 06:35 AM
http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=politicsNews&amp;storyID=637081 1

Q

eg8r
09-30-2004, 11:59 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Is the election already decided? <hr /></blockquote> What do you think?

eg8r

Deeman2
09-30-2004, 12:45 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eg8r:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
Is the election already decided? <hr /></blockquote> What do you think?

eg8r <hr /></blockquote>

I certainly hope so!

Deeman