Governor asked to intervene in Hillsborough elections (FL)
My Fox Tampa Bay. November 6, 2008.
TAMPA – Two state senators are calling on Governor Charlie Crist to get involved in Hillsborough County’s election mess.
Senator Charlie Justice, District 16, and Senator Arthenia Joyner, District 18, sent a letter to the governor Thursday requesting he intervene sincethere are still thousands of uncounted votes and unresolved issues with the optical scan machine software two days after the election.
The letter stated, “Per statute, there is a finite amount of time to get the unofficial results to the state elections office, and we are very concerned that if the situation continues on its current path, many votes will be left unaccounted for.”
Justice and Joyner also believe there’s a conflict of interest since Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson is a candidate in one of the unresolved races.
Both also stated, “We are sure you will agree the integrity of these elections is of the utmost importance. The time has come for outside assistance. We are confident that with your involvement we can finally bring a resolution to what is becoming more embarrassing by the hour.”
Elections workers began re-entering nearly 80,000 two-page ballots into the machines Thursday morning. It’s expected to take at least ten hours to complete, then another two hours to upload the results into the system.
Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin White is on the canvassing board overseeing the process.
"I am very disappointed in the way that the numbers are coming back, and the reporting aspect,” White told FOX 13. “Every other county has called their election now and we're still here and it’s very disappointing"
Johnson blames Premier, the company that makes the optical scan machines. But Premier is blaming the elections office for trying to upload too many votes at once, and for mixing early voting and Election Day ballots.