on Fri, May. 28, 2004
Secretary of state tries
to calm voters
Secretary of State
Glenda Hood hopes for a scandal-free election in November, even as she
acknowledges a swirl of questions about the state's new voting machines.
controversy over touch-screen voting machines and a purge of felons from the
voting rolls, Secretary of State Glenda Hood sought on Thursday to reassure
anxious voters that 2004 won't be a rehash of the 2000 presidential debacle.
addressing the League of Women Voters of Miami-Dade County, said she has
"great confidence" that the state's 67 elections supervisors are
ready for the November election -- and the scrutiny that will accompany it.
want the attention to be on Florida, but I always want it to be in a positive
way," she said.
Hood acknowledged her office is investigating a voting machine glitch in
Miami-Dade County, which she said was not properly reported to the state.
spokesman for Miami-Dade Elections Supervisor Constance Kaplan noted it was the
county that detected the problem and said that Kaplan had sought to balance the
need to report potential problems against unnecessarily alarming the public.
glitch involves the auditing system of the iVotronic
touch-screen machines Miami-Dade and Broward installed after the mishaps that
plagued the 2000 presidential election.
officials have said the glitch does not affect voting -- only the audits
performed days after the election itself. The problem, according to Kaplan, is
in the flashcard that downloads the voting information.
the votes are downloaded, some machines scramble the serial number of the machine,
making it difficult to identify where the votes came from.
said her office is investigating "whether it's truly a problem or
not." County officials said they could resolve the problem.
issue arose after a citizens' group, the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition,
filed a public records request and received county memos criticizing the
grilled by league members with serious reservations about the county's voting
equipment, repeatedly sought to distance
office from election operations.
have absolutely no authority over the running of elections in this state,"
said Hood, a former Orlando mayor who was appointed to the job by Gov. Jeb Bush. She said the department's responsibilities
include certifying voting equipment, ensuring
supervisors follow state law and verifying election results.
new machines have come under scrutiny for the lack of a paper trail, but Hood
defended the touch-screen machines and likened some of the criticism -- that the
machines could be tampered with -- to conspiracy theories.
touch-screen machines are not computers," she said. "You'd have to go
machine by machine, all over the state."
staff writer Charles Rabin contributed to this report.
2004 Knight Ridder All Rights Reserved
FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains
copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically
authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our
efforts to advance understanding of political, democracy, scientific, and
social justice issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such
copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In
accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For
more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you
wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that
go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.