Florida Officials Order Voting Recount

Secretary of State Sue Cobb is clearly fed up with questions about touch-screen voting machines and whether the high-tech equipment somehow malfunctioned in the race to replace Katherine Harris in Congress.

A machine recount is now underway.

Sue Cobb, Florida Secretary of State, said, "We want to make sure that every machine has been counted, that’s for starters, and I am not going to speculate this morning on the process of the machine recount, the manual recount. They’re going to happen with all the procedures that are prescribed by law."

Republican Vern Buchanan is leading Democrat Christine Jennings by just 377 votes in the District 13 congressional race. More than 18,000 ballots on touch-screens in Sarasota County didn’t record a vote for either candidate. That’s 10 times the number of blanks in the governor’s race.

Canvassing Commission member Tom Gallagher says maybe Sarasota voters may have just skipped the congressional race because it got so nasty.

"I think that probably had a lot to do with people just didn’t, chose not to vote in that race," said Gallagher.

But Ben Wilcox of the group Common Cause doesn't buy it. He points out just a small fraction of absentee ballots and voters in other counties left the same race blank.

"So that would indicate that those people were not necessarily turned off," he said.

But without a paper trail, proving voter intent will be very hard to improve.


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