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Florida's got new audit legislation.

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 06:29 PM
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Florida's got new audit legislation.
Edited on Sat Mar-08-08 06:32 PM by Wilms

Better audits are sought for voting

State elections officials are wary of a hasty overhaul as they switch to optical scanners.

By Will Van Sant, Times Staff Writer
Published March 6, 2008

With the presidential contest in full swing, voting reform advocates and Florida election officials are trying to develop a better way to monitor election results.

State officials agree that Florida's current audit provisions, adopted last year, don't go far enough. But they are wary of too hasty an overhaul during an election year already complicated by a move to the statewide use of optical scan voting equipment.


The need for improved audits was raised by activists who organized a working group of local supervisors of election and computer and statistics experts that began meeting in December.


In its present form, the working group's bill would greatly expand the number of races subject to scrutiny to include every election for federal office, the governor, lieutenant governor, Cabinet members, the Legislature and at least two other statewide elections or referendums. In each county, that means local officials would have to audit as many as 10 to 12 elections in a given cycle.

The process would involve reviewing ballots that had been fed into an optical scan machine. The ballots would be hand counted, and the results compared to those the machine produced.

The method would be risk-based, which means more ballots would be sampled from tight races than blowouts. Although 13 states require post-election audits, only New Jersey has gone the risk-based route. The state created the requirement last year but has yet to put the new rule into practice.

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