Thursday, April 1, 2004

Bassackwards

From the Sun-Sentinel:

TALLAHASSEE · South Floridians pushing for a touch-screen voting paper trail are steamed about a state Senate proposal that they say runs counter to their cause.

Tucked into the 90-page proposal (SB 3004) is a decree that “a manual recount may not be conducted of undervotes on touch-screen machines,” which are used in South Florida’s three big counties.

There’s really nothing to hand-count, since the machines don’t use or produce paper ballots, explained sponsor Anna Cowin, R-Leesburg.

That’s exactly the problem, say Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade county leaders and activists who want to require touch-screen machines to spit out and secure paper versions of each vote as it is cast. They say the printouts would make manual recounts meaningful and reassure voters leery of the machines.

“It is actually more than outrageous that after what happened in the 2000 presidential race, anyone in Florida would suggest that the ability of voters to have a recount in the closest elections should be eliminated,” said U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton, who is pressing for ballot printouts in federal court.

“The more appropriate response would be, ‘What do we need to do to provide voters with certainty that their votes are being counted?'”

Leave it to the gang in Tallahassee to figure out yet another way to screw the voters.