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Florida: Weak Election Audits Only, Thank You

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-06-10 08:32 PM
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Florida: Weak Election Audits Only, Thank You

Florida: Weak Election Audits Only, Thank You

In Sarasota, Florida today, a four year long battle over real election accountability has come to a bitter end.

August 5, 2010

snip

Sarasota County's charter measure put real teeth into election accountability: it required an audit of 5 percent of precincts to be completed before certification. The audit was to be performed independently, and would include every item on the ballot.

snip

But lawmakers, spurred on by election officials, went back to the drawing board, and in April, just two days before the end of the legislative session, passed a sweeping elections bill, preempting counties from having more rigorous election standards than the state. Again a court battle ensued, again a ruling issued, this time by Circuit Judge Charles Roberts, who this time sided with the state.

Today, Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections decided to throw in the towel over its court case, but met with the Sarasota Board of County Commissioners to get the Commission to adopt a resolution calling for continuing use of voter verified paper ballots for all voters of Sarasota County (as long as they are approved by the Florida Secretary of State.) The commission voted to move forward on SAFE's request.

SAFE President Kindra Muntz says only the battleground for safer Florida voting has changed, and that the group will now focus on changing state law to provide for more rigorous voting audits for all of Florida. "We suffered a setback when the State gave all powers over elections to itself in HB131, but we must press on for verified elections statewide, to preserve democracy in Florida and in this country. Voters need to know their votes count as cast. We need meaningful audits of ballots vs. machine counts at the very least. Democracy can't function with computerized voting and internet voting with no hard copy ballots. To what anonymous programmer will we be pledging allegiance?"

snip

http://www.suewilsonreports.com/2010/08/florida-weak-el...

Thanks to WYVBC:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-06-10 10:19 PM
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1. There was a bill for stronger audits in both houses of the FL legislature in 2008. If died.
Edited on Fri Aug-06-10 10:22 PM by Bill Bored
The Secretary of State had a lot to do with killing it but it's more or less the same story everywhere.

The question for the movement is: If we aren't going to have proper audits of elections, what's the plan other than continuing to wait?

I'm sure some will say we have to keep fighting for paper ballots, yada, yada, yada. But it's clear that they will not be used for anything other than recording voter intent to be interpreted almost exclusively by computers, just like in FL 2000, Ohio 2004 and countless other elections that were not on anyone's radar.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-06-10 10:25 PM
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2. Yada, yada is right. Verified Voting's audit map says everything is A-OK in FL.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-06-10 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I don't think we can blame VV for this mess, but that map could use a few more colors. nt
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-06-10 11:22 PM
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4. I ain't blaming them for the state of audits.
But I certainly question their report on the state of audits. On it's face, it's misleading.

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-07-10 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. On my screen, FL's color is not shown on the legend.
Edited on Sat Aug-07-10 12:08 AM by Bill Bored
The other states with audits are not the same color as the legend either but they are the same as FL, even though their audits are quite different. The map and the legend need work. But what language do you see that is misleading?
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-07-10 01:00 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Oh, please.
They suggest the green colored states are doing fine and that the concern is merely "...to pass laws in the remaining 24 states to require such audits, and to fill loopholes in some current state provisions".

I brought this up on another thread.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-07-10 01:28 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Well, there are a lot of loopholes in some current state provisions! :)
Keep in mind that VV also published this, which I don't think is particularly misleading:
http://www.verifiedvotingfoundation.org/article.php?id=...

It came much too late in the game however. Most of the damage had already been done when they and others started speaking out about how hard it is to audit software-counted elections. Most election officials don't want to hear about that at all.

It may very well be that the best we can hope for is paper ballots, computers and the occasional lawsuit (e.g., Bush v. Gore) to ultimately decide who wins and who loses elections.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-07-10 01:39 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. The loopholes they mentioned might not be the ones you have in mind. :(
Edited on Sat Aug-07-10 01:55 AM by Wilms
-very edited-

That link is nice...that oughtta be explained out right. But I'm glad that it's buried on their site.

Re: "It may very well be that the best we can hope for is paper ballots, computers and the occasional lawsuit (e.g., Bush v. Gore) to ultimately decide who wins and who loses elections."

You giving up?

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