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Rallying for Fair Florida Elections

By: Ilyssa Trussel
By: Ilyssa Trussel

The steps of Florida's Capitol became the rallying point Tuesday.

A slot machine on display, Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho says gambling machines are more protected than voting machines.

"Why can't we have the same protections for voters as we have already provided for gamblers? We need to have open source codes; we need to verify that the machines are counting correctly."

With elections on the calendar this year, some say it’s more important than ever to make sure every vote counts.

"It's not just important that the winner of the election believes that he or she has won. It's just as important that the loser believe the other person won," said Susan Pynchon, executive director of Florida's Fair Election Coalition.

With just a couple weeks left in the session, activists are pushing for election reform, asking lawmakers to instill there would be paper trails, background checks on voting machine programmers and secure software.

"The way the Legislature have it, it’s Democrats and Republicans. It's not though. We are Democrats and Republicans in this fight because it’s for what's right for the people," said Alice Elaguerre.

Some Florida voters say election practices need improvement. Misty Penton with the Advocacy Consortium for the Common Good says a test Sancho personally conducted last year proved some voting machines are faulty.

"Instead of the response being a problem solving response, it has been an intimidation backlash response, so we're out here to make sure that he is recognized to be the stand-up defender of the process that is, and the number two reason that we really look at the problems that exist and try and address them."

Sancho said unlike voting machines, slot machines are tested and audited daily. He also pointed out that those who program slot machines are subjected to background checks. With voting machines though, there's no way of knowing whether a programmers may be a criminal.


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