Florida College Students Want to Make Sure Every Vote Counts

Wednesday Florida college students delivered hundreds of petitions to the secretary of state’s office, demanding a verifiable paper trail for every voting machine in the state.

A group of college Democrats carried 500 petitions signed by people from throughout Florida to present to the secretary of state. The petitions demand verifiable paper trails for every voting machine, including the touch screens used in 16 counties.

David Grimes of the FSU College Democrats said, "It’s especially important in a state like Florida where we have a history of questionable voting practices."

Some of the petitioners added comments to their petitions.

Toni Molinaro of St. Petersburg writes: “We need to be able to verify the votes, a hard copy of some sort.”

Secretary of State Sue Cobb is out of town, but spokeswoman Susan Shiver says Cobb doesn’t oppose a paper trail. Although the message is clear, no one’s volunteering to put one in place.

Susan Shiver, spokeswoman for the Florida Secretary of State, said, "Secretary Cobb has also said many times that she’s open to that debate, and if the Legislature should mandate a paper trail, then we would certainly comply."

We asked the petitioners if they’d be equally concerned about having a paper trail if Democrats had done better in the last election. David Grimes says it’s not about politics; it’s about the right to vote and have your vote count.

David said, "I intend to keep that right and it really doesn’t matter to me, whether it’s a Democrat or Republican in office."

But with the primary just eight weeks away, it’s highly unlikely the state will mandate any new security measures at the voting booth.

The petition drive was started by the national organization "Heartland PAC."

The group says it has gathered more than 10,000 signatures from folks across the country who are concerned about fairness in upcoming elections.


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