New study says Most voters intended to vote for Christine Jennings in Sarasota Congressional Race

11/27/06

A team of experts from the state’s Division of Elections office is set to audit Sarasota County’s voting machines tomorrow.

It comes a week after the state canvasing board certified Republican Vern Buchanan as the winner of the13th Congressional District race, with a 369-vote margin over Democrat Christine Jennings – but also with more than 18,400 undervotes in Sarasota County, Jennings has filed a lawsuit contesting the election results, saying she should be declared the winner or a new election be held.

She contends the voting machines in Sarasota County malfunctioned, casting doubt on the accuracy of the election results.

The audit process will consist of two similar tests, one Tuesday on the iVotronic voting equipment that was prepared but not used in the Nov. 7 election, and another on Friday, if there are no delays, on the voting equipment used on election day.

Meanwhile, a new paper has just been published by a University of Dartmouth Political Scientist and others that have studied the Jennings/Buchanan battle.

The paper says that based on their analysis of the undervotes in Sarasota County, Christine Jennings would pick up 1101 votes more than Vern Buchanan, and thus would have overcome the 369 votes she currently trails Buchanan. They also blame the ballot design, though they remain curious about what the auditing process may unearth. Mark Herron is a professor of Government at Dartmouth College, based in Masschusetts. WMNF Spoke with him this afternoon…. (roll tape#1 o.q.� Couple of pieces of paper�)

That’s Mark Herron, A Professor of Government at Dartmouth College in Massachusetts. A paper that he and several colleagues have just published says that thru their analysis, if the percentage of undervotes was applied to all of those voters who did make a choice in the Christine Jennings/Vern Buchanan race, Ms. Jennings would have received over 11000 votes, easily overcoming her 369 vote deficit to Buchanan.

A team of experts from the state’s Division of Elections office is set to audit Sarasota County’s voting machines tomorrow…We’ll also hear again from Professor Herron on why he thinks that the problems with the massive amount of undervotes were probably because of poor ballot design, and not necessarily machine related – though he says he maintains an open mind about that.

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