Feeds

3,400 votes vanish from Florida election

Son of Hanging Chad

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Florida elections officials are determining whether they can give their counterparts in Palm Beach County more time to certify voting results of an election last week, following the revelation that more than 3,400 ballots have vanished into thin air.

Arthur Anderson, Palm Beach's supervisor of Elections certified the results Tuesday, but that was before at least two members of the county's canvassing board were informed of the discrepancy. The shortfall is creating something of dilemma for elections officials, who are torn between following the schedule mandated for Florida law and ensuring voters aren't penalized by the mistakes of public servants.

This latest episode has disturbing implications for counties and municipalities throughout the country. The ballots were used with new $5.5m optical-scan machines made by Sequoia Voting Systems. Many elections officials, including California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, have held out optical scans as a safer alternative to electronic voting systems.

The real worry is that officials are at a loss to say just what happened to the 3,478 missing ballots. The discrepancy came to light when a recount was ordered in the razor-thin race between candidates running for the county's 15th Circuit Court judgeship. When the votes were first tallied a week ago Tuesday, officials counted 102,523. On Sunday when they were tallied again, the number dropped to 99,045.

William Abramson, the candidate for 15th Circuit Court judge who lost by 60 votes in the recount, has vowed to challenge the count.

The east coast of Florida is obviously no stranger to botched ballot counts. The most well known of those, of course, involved the contested election for president in 2000, but there have been others. More recently, in June, 2007, some 700 votes went uncounted in a special commissioners election for nearby West Palm Beach. Like the most recent mess, Anderson was the official supervising the election, and Sequoia machines were used to cast ballots.

As Wired.com reports here, Anderson lost his bid for re-election during last Tuesday's race. Defenders of democracy can at least take comfort knowing that the results of that race aren't being contested. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.