IAN SANCHO - Mitch Perry

07/21/04

The Associated Press is reporting that the head of the Supervisors of Elections Association in Florida, - Orange County Supervisor Bill Cowles - earlier this week sent a harshly worded 1 page Letter to Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ian Sancho....Sancho has criticized touchscreen voting technology that will be used in 15 Florida Counties this year.....Cowles said most Supervisors disagreed.

That was followed by another attack on Sancho by Secretary of State Glenda Hood, who said that Sancho is 'eroding voter confidence' - the key line used by Hood, Governor Jeb Bush, and others in Florida Government when asked about criticism about voting procedures in Florida.

But Supervisor Sancho is firing back.....WMNF spoke to him today about the criticism for his independence stance (roll tape# 1 O.Q. "trying to do the right thing")

Secretary Hood has defended the touchscreen machines as the best available technology -- and one that makes voting much easier for the disabled. She notes that voters who are not comfortable with that technology can vote early by absentee ballot.

On Monday, Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson held a news conference, where he asked that the Justice Department take a close look at the state's Touchscreen voting machines....Nelson asked Attorney General John Ashcroft for an audit to determine why the machines used in 16 Florida Counties had a much higher under-vote rate than optical scan machines during the democratic presidential primary last March. Nelson referred to statistics showed an undervote rate at least 8 times higher in touchscreen machines. But to Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ian Sancho, there was something else that Senator Nelson referred to that were as startling (roll tape#2 o.q."

As accurate")

Ian Sancho, oversees a county that has had one of the lowest rates of voter error in recent years In Leon County, voters fill in a blank on paper ballots that are read by machine.

Yesterday the Sarasota Herald Tribune reported that- according to a company that helped create the felons list that was scrapped a week and a half ago, State election officials knew since at least 1998 that the list would have a glitch and exclude Hispanics, according to a company that helped create the list.....Ian Sancho - who had been critical of the state list, said the latest revelation - which has seen South Florida Congressman Robert Wexler call for Glenda Hood's resignation - brings up more questions that he says are worrisome (roll tape#3 o.q."for partisan reasons")

Meanwhile, a federal appeals court yesterday delayed indefinitely a long-awaited Miami trial to decide whether more than 600,000 former felons in Florida could have their voting rights automatically restored.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta agreed to reconsider an earlier appellate panel's order to hold the trial on Florida's 136-year-old law that bars felons from voting.

The ruling disappointed advocates for ex-felons who say the law is racially discriminatory because blacks comprise a disproportionate number of the former convicts.

The ruling also means many ex-felons, who could make the difference in a tight race, will miss out on a chance to vote in another presidential election.

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