The election battle continues in Florida's 13th District this week, as the state begins its audit of electronic voting machines. At issue is why Sarasota County's electronic voting machines failed to register a vote in Florida's 13th District congressional race for more than 18,000 voters, an "undervote" rate far higher than the 13th's other counties. Analyses of those undervotes show that they cost Jennings (who lost the official tally to Republican Vern Buchanan by fewer than 400 votes) the race.
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But that audit, conducted by the state's Division of Elections, has drawn criticism for a number of reasons. As we noted last week, the state's lead computer expert is a die-hard Republican. The conditions of the audit have also drawn fire from Democrat Christine Jennings camp.
Speaking earlier today, Jennings lawyer Kendall Coffey pointed to what he saw as key deficiencies in the audit, which might undermine Jennings' efforts to contest the election results. Jennings' lawsuit is on hold until the state completes its audit this Friday.
Above all, Coffey said that the state's process went against "the basic notion of an audit that it's supposed to be independent." Instead, "the same state agency that is responsible for the reliability of voting systems and software are now conducting an audit to find out where that agency created problems."