Feeds

3,400 votes vanish from Florida election

Son of Hanging Chad

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

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. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?