SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS BUDDY JOHNSON - Mitch Perry

10/06/04

Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson came before the County Commission today to discuss problems in his office eminating from the August 31st Primary election. Last month, Johnson’s office discovered that 245 votes cast during early primary voting were recorded but not added to the election results. Johnson said an elections worker left the machine in "test" mode, keeping the votes from being tabulated. Johnson said the lapse did not alter any election. Missing votes was not Johnson's first or only problem. A computer malfunctioned on election night, delaying Hillsborough's primary results until nearly sunrise the following day. During the March Democratic presidential preference primary, workers had to return after hours to retrieve two vote-counting cartridges left behind in the machines. 3 weeks ago - after the St. Petersburg Times informed himafter a Times reporter told him - did Johnson realize that his office Web site reported 7,000 fewer votes than he had reported to the state. But sparks flew on the Commission when Commissioner Pat Frank told Supervisor Johnson that she wanted to make sure that this November’s election would be run correctly - without the mistakes that have occurred in the past…and she asked Johnson if he would be able to implement measures that came out of a study in Miami Dade County, in terms of being able to produce a paper record of votes on touch-screen machines, even without a Printer (roll tape#1 o.q.�is set in place�) Later, Commissioner Ronda Storms, was ready to pounce on Frank’s comments…She said they were unnessarily divisive, and said she was weary of the pounding that activists and Democrats have been expressing about the fears of the Touch Screen machines, as she took several digs at former Supervisor of Elections Pam Iorio (roll tape#2 o.q.� the integrity of it�) And Storms said she feared the Democrats complaints would stop some voters from going to the polls (roll tape#3 o.q.�foundation of it�) Storms then continued on in the same vein for nearly 5 more minutes… After listening to Storms extensive comments, Commisioner Frank fired back (roll tape#4 o.q.�and dependable�) Supervisor Johnson says he will come back to the Commision with that study on how Miami Dade may be able to produce a paper trail for the touch screen machines.

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