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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
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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


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.


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?"


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