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Can You Trust Tuesday’s Outcome?

January 25th, 2008 by flanews

Voters in 14 counties will be using electronic voting machines for the last time on Tuesday. The machines were scrapped by lawmakers after problems arose in the last election in Sarasota County. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, officials are hoping the machines’ last day on the job is uneventful.

Hear it Here: Can You Trust Tuesdays Outcome?

The deal to toss electronic voting machines was sealed when 18,000 votes werent cast or mysteriously disappeared in Sarasota Countys 2006 congressional election. Last spring, lawmakers and the governor made replacing the machines a top priority.

The have made sure that the most precious thing we do in democracy, the most cherished right that we have as Americans, that we have integrity in that process in the state of Florida, said Gov. Charlie Crist in May 2007.

Sarasota has already dumped their machines. 14 other counties still use them. Half of Tuesdays voters will still cast their ballot
electronically. Secretary of State Kurt Browning expects the day to be uneventful.

We need to do whatever it takes to restore voter confidence,” Browning said. “And if its having a piece of paper, i.e. the ballot, then thats what we need to do and thats what weve done.

By the primary in August, every county will be using optical scan systems similar to these. Voters will fill in ovals with a pen and
insert their paper ballots in a computer to be counted. Charlie Crist says be patient, even if it doesnt come soon enough for everyone.

Well you want to make progress as quickly as you can, but not too quickly that you might not do it right,” said Gov. Crist. “So having it in November, the way we really want it to be, forever, I think is prudent.

Some electronic machines will be used through 2010 to help disabled voters before being totally scrapped.

While the machines are being scrapped, many counties have not fully paid for the old touch screens yet. The state estimates $32 million is still owed on the soon to be scrapped systems.

Posted in Charlie Crist, Elections, Politics, State News, Voting | No Comments »

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