Site Map
Voting News
Contact Us
About Us

is NOT!
associated with

Sparks fly, talks snag on recount rule

By Dara Kam

The Palm Beach Post

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

TALLAHASSEE — Opponents of touch-screen voting and state officials are in "parallel worlds" regarding how to conduct a manual recount on the ATM-style machines that more than half the state's voters use.

Civil liberties and union lawyers met Tuesday with Secretary of State Glenda Hood's general counsel and top elections officials in a somewhat heated hour-long exchange to discuss a new recount rule, ordered by an administrative law judge in August.

The judge had thrown out Hood's rule that would have exempted the touch-screen counties, including Palm Beach and Martin, from performing a manual recount in tight elections.
Alma Gonzalez, an attorney for the union representing government workers, offered state officials a list of a dozen items she said are necessary to assess the integrity of the November election, but failed to specifically include a mechanism for how to assess "voter intent," the integral element of a manual recount.

"There are a lot of parallel worlds out there," said Hood's attorney, Richard Perez, characterizing the schism between state officials and advocates of a voter-verified paper trail such as U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Delray Beach, whose aide was present. "Quite frankly, I'd rather be in Bermuda right now."

The most contentious item on the list, unlikely to be included in Hood's rule, would require poll workers to offer a paper ballot to voters, which would be given to the county canvassing board and counted along with absentee ballots.

The proposal, which Gonzalez said also would resolve Wexler's federal lawsuit regarding a paper trail, would give a federal judge jurisdiction over Florida elections and provides for:

• Poll-watchers in each precinct to audit the voter registration rolls and make sure they agree with the touch-screen machine tallies.

• Federal court-appointed special masters in each of the 15 counties "to oversee the entire voting process" for the presidential election, including early voting.

• Reports of each machine's event log and the number of votes tallied by each of the three memory modules on each machine, to be given to the special masters.

• Federal court oversight of the special masters and a federal court order requiring a paper trail for future elections.

A draft of the rule being prepared by Perez would simply print out the ballot images from the machines, which county canvassing teams would examine and compare with the number of under-votes on each machine or precinct.But the method of resolving any discrepancy remains unresolved.

Previous Page

Election Problem Log image
2004 to 2009


Accessibility Issues
Accessibility Issues

Cost Comparisons
Cost Comparisons

Flyers & Handouts

VotersUnite News Exclusives

Search by

Copyright © 2004-2010 VotersUnite!