Jennings-Buchanan saga continues by Mitch E. Perry12/01/06
In Sarasota today, state elections workers cast the first of 251 scripted ballots a little past 7AM this morning, in the second simulated election of an audit that began this week to investigate how the county's touch-screen voting machines functioned in the November 7th election.
If discrepancies are found in todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s test, state audit officials will begin to review the scripts and video tape of the election next Tuesday to determine if they were caused by human or machine error.
The next step in the three-week long audit is to look at the machines' source code.
But critics of the electronic voting machines believe the testing that the state has conducted this week have been a farce.
Kindra Muntz is from the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections, or SAFE. (roll tape#1 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t give us the true pictureÃ¢â‚¬?)
On Sunday, MuntzÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ group will join a coalition of citizens and other advocacy groups for what they are calling a Revote Rally to be held in Bayfront Park in Sarasota beginning at 2:PM. The ACLU, The Reverend Jesse JacksonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Rainbow-Push Coalition, and the NAACP will all participate, along with various voting activist groups.
SAFEÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Kindra Muntz says democracy itself is on the line with whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s happening in Sarasota (roll tape#2 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?is at stakeÃ¢â‚¬?)
Meanwhile, the Florida Republican Party seized on an editorial in the ultra conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal that blasts the Democrats attitude in the 13th Congressional race between Republican Vern Buchanan and Democrat Christine Jennings.
Entitled, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Sore WinnersÃ¢â‚¬?, the Editorial blasts the Jennings camp for believing that a majority of the 18,000 undervotes in the race would have gone to her, if they had been counted.
An excerpt of the editorial reads,Ã¢â‚¬?Ã¢â‚¬Â¦If anyone ought to be complaining about undervotes, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the GOP. Sarasota is the largest and most Republican county in the District, yet the Democrat, Ms. Jennings, carried it handily. In fact, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the only county in the district that she did carry, which makes it MORE likely that it was Republicans who declined to vote in the Congressional race, not DemocratsÃ¢â‚¬?.
The editorial endorses the idea that the undervotes resulted from a mass turnoff because of the combative campaign. Jeff Sadosky is a spokesman for the Republican Party of Florida (roll tape#3 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?not to voteÃ¢â‚¬?)
The Wall Street Journal editorial also refers to the rumor that has surfaced since election night Ã¢â‚¬â€œ that the Democrats will ultimately disallow the certification and vote to seat Jennings in January. Jeff Sadosky from the Florida Republican Party says the GOP has heard the rumor, and canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t believe House Speaker to be Nancy Pelosi would do something that would alienate much of the political world so soon into her tenure (roll tape#4 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?a little bit better than thatÃ¢â‚¬?)
A spokesman for Nancy Pelosi said the California Democrat is watching the legal process in Sarasota, but isn't prepared to comment further on what she will do on January 4th, the first day of the new Congress