Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Correction! The Sarasota Election was certified on Monday. Time for a revolt!

I find it ethically and legally troubling if in fact the 18,000 under votes in Sarasota County-Florida were (by a reasonable majority) Democratic votes.

I have refrained from posting and even removed comments on this blog that alluded to baseless left wing conspiracy theories in regards to this specific election, however it seems there is empirical justification to not only question this election but: to scrutinize Election Supervisor Kathy Dent, investigate the source code of all Sarasota County voting machines, and investigate possible election fraud coordinated by the campaign of Vern Buchanan.

If the numbers show these under votes belonged to the Democrats certification of this election must be halted. How can the State of Florida, the Courts, and the Supervisor of Elections allow for such Electoral debauchery to occur?

Kathy Dent has stated publicly that “if a voter felt there was a problem with there vote they should have spoken then”. This is absurd when the issue at hand is technological, source code, tabulating, and programming. If it is true that this voting technology that was rapidly sold to the voting public in which Kathy Dent supports and Jeb Bush supports.

If this technology is so truly more efficient then why can’t all the voters (Republican & Democrat) see an independently verified audit before this election between Christine Jennings and Vern Buchanan is certified?

The owners of these voting machines say their source code is trade secret. Which means companies within the USA are profiteering from the election process which breeds corruption and tampering.

I see it like this; voting machine source code belongs to the People.

Kathy Dent & Jeb Bush there is no faith in these electronic voting systems. Lets bring back paper.

Orlando Sentinel, November 22, 2006
Analysis: Ballots favored Dems

Sarasota's 'undervotes' were examined in 5 state races.

Jim StrattonSentinel Staff WriterNovember 22, 2006

The group of nearly 18,000 voters that registered no choice in Sarasota's disputed congressional election solidly backed Democratic candidates in all five of Florida's statewide races, an Orlando Sentinel analysis of ballot data shows.Among these voters, even the weakest Democrat -- agriculture-commissioner candidate Eric Copeland -- outpaced a much-better-known Republican incumbent by 551 votes.The trend, which continues up the ticket to the race for governor and U.S. Senate, suggests that if votes were truly cast and lost -- as Democrat Christine Jennings maintains -- they were votes that likely cost her the congressional election.Republican Vern Buchanan's 369-vote victory was certified by state officials Monday. His camp says that, although people may have skipped the race -- intentionally or not -- there is no evidence that votes went missing.But the results of the Sentinel analysis, two experts said, warrant additional investigation."Wow," University of Virginia political analyst Larry Sabato said. "That's very suggestive -- I'd even say strongly suggestive -- that if there had been votes recorded, she [Jennings] would have won that House seat."David Dill, an electronic-voting expert at Stanford University, put it this way: "It seems to establish with certainty that more Democrats are represented in those undervoted ballots."The Sentinel reviewed records of 17,846 touch-screen ballots that included no vote in the tightly contested 13th District congressional race to determine whom voters selected in other major races.The analysis of the so-called "undervotes" examined the races for U.S. Senate, governor, attorney general, chief financial officer and agriculture commissioner.The results showed that the undervoted ballots skewed Democratic in all of those races, even in the three races in which the county as a whole went Republican.In the governor's race, for example, Republican Charlie Crist won handily in Sarasota, easily beating Democrat Jim Davis. But on the undervoted ballots, Davis finished ahead by almost 7 percentage points.In the agriculture commissioner's race, Republican Charles Bronson beat Copeland by a double-digit margin among all voters. But on the undervoted ballots, Copeland won by about 3 percentage points.Some questions remainThe analysis does not -- and cannot -- reveal why no congressional choice was recorded on the ballots. It also cannot determine which candidate any single voter might have selected had he or she made a choice.But the strong performance of other Democrats indicates Jennings would have found a sizable number of supporters within the group."If votes were actually lost," Dill said, "it appears those votes would have favored the Democrat."About 15 percent of ballots cast on Sarasota's touch-screen machines registered no choice in the bitterly fought congressional race. That percentage was about six times greater than the undervote in the rest of the House district, which spreads into four other counties.Since Election Day, dozens -- if not hundreds -- of voters have reported problems at the polls. Some say their vote for Jennings never registered after they touched her name. Others say they never saw the congressional race on the machine's screen.The Jennings campaign argues that only a machine malfunction can account for the high number of undervotes in the congressional race.Her experts claim that because Jennings won in Sarasota by a 52 percent-to-47 percent margin -- the only county she carried -- she would have picked up the bulk of any votes that were lost. Those votes, they say, would have been enough to defeat Buchanan.On Monday, Jennings filed a lawsuit in Tallahassee seeking to reverse the results or hold a new election.Buchanan's camp says that undervotes may simply be voters exercising their choice not to make a selection in a race.His supporters say two recounts have confirmed Buchanan's victory, and neither found a problem with the voting machines.The Republican's experts acknowledge that some people may have missed the race because of a poor ballot design, but that problem, they say, would have affected all voters equally.A representative from the Buchanan campaign was not available late Tuesday to comment on the Sentinel analysis. But earlier this week, Republicans said Jennings was attempting to accomplish in court what she couldn't do at the polls."Christine Jennings is once again allowing her own personal ambitions and the radical political agendas of liberal third-party groups to hijack the democratic process," GOP state Chairwoman Carole Jean Jordan said. "The votes have now been counted three times, once on Election Day and twice since then in state-mandated recounts; yet Christine Jennings will not step forward and do what is right for the voters of the 13th Congressional District, which is to concede."A Jennings spokesman said the results of the Sentinel analysis are consistent with what the Democrats have been saying all along."That reflects what we've seen anecdotally," David Kochman said. "The overwhelming majority of reports of voters having problems say they were trying to vote for Christine Jennings. It's nearly unanimous."


Anonymous said...

Mr. Brooks:

I completely agree with you. Florida citizens should be able to investigate the source code of all voting equipment as well as independent verifications of election equipment should be required by law.

As many have said recently, you get a receipt when you go to the grocery store -- why not one when you vote? In a case like this "receipts" could be used to verify a vote -- an ID on the receipt could be used to match a vote record and confirm it matches. This way a user walks out of the polling place knowing who they voted for and have paper evidence of it.

Other's have had a great idea of requiring a "No Vote" option for future elections to prevent this type of issue.

However, Mr. Brooks, I think you are participating in the same baseless left wing conspiracy's that you removed from your blog. You state that Vern Buchanan should be investigated -- why? Only because he is (currently and the certified) winner? If it were the other way around should the other candidate be investigated? What about any third party candidates (I'm not fully aware of who was on the ticket) -- should they be investigated too?

Also, saying the undervotes go Democrat (or Republican) is only an assumption and a poor one at that. There is no way at this point to tell why there were so many undervotes although the Election Supervisor has said it is not abnormal as she did not vote for a candidate herself even.

As a final note -- the source code does not belong to the people. No more so than the paper recipe for the old punch ballots belong to the public. Yes, the public should have access to the source code but it in now way belongs to the people as it is the intellectual property of the company that makes the machine.

Thank you.

Anthony said...

"Most Sarasota Undervotes Came From Democratic Voters

The 2006 Florida District 13 Congressional race is being contested in part because of an unusually high number of voters for whom a selection was not recorded for the FL-13 race. The statistical analysis reported here indicates a strong bias in the undervote percentages that appears to have disproportionately disenfranchised Democratic voters. The evidence presented here is quite compelling; The undervote anomaly cannot be explained solely by voter behavior or by any level of disaffection with either candidate or party. These results strongly support the suggestion that the cause of the undervote anomaly was systematic machine programming or hardware error if not an intentional system hack. These results recommend further independent, bi-partisan, non-partsan and extra-governmental examination of the electronic touchscreen voting system hardware, firmware and software.

For Steve's full and compelling analysis, go to: "

Anonymous said...

Before I make two comments I would like to point out that I do believe something went wrong in the Sarasota election -- whether it was poor ballot design or computer error or something else -- I'm not arguing the fact that a 14.9% undervote calls for an inquiry into the problem.

However, just two comments on the page that you linked to. I'm not a math genius so I'm not going to argue any of the math supplied and it seems to have been done by a very respectable company knowledgeable in large scale statistical analysis.

1.) The undervotes by district show a 11.20% undervote in the top 52 GOP districts; 12.59% in the Middle 52 districts; and a 15.32% undervote in the top 52 Democrat districts. Between the GOP & Democrat districts it is only 4.12% difference in undervotes.

2.) The analysis also points out that voter turnout and vote selection for the State races was a statistical dead heat. In GOP precincts 59% voted Rep. and 41% voted Dem. Independent precincts were tied with 50% Rep. and 50% Democrat. Democrat districts voted 57% Dem. and 43% Rep. Discounting the Ind. districts, the GOP districts had an 18% difference with a Rep. majority where the Democrat districts had a 14% difference with a Dem. majority.

So again, I go back to my original point -- to say that the votes were largely Democratic votes is still just an assumption even based upon the statistics supplied. As the author of the analysis says it is a hypothesis. Most political surveys and exit polling show that the margin of error is usually between 3% and 4% (and sometimes higher) -- definitely close enough in these numbers supplied.

What would be very interesting is a straw poll by the Sarasota Herald Tribune with three choices, Vern Buchanan, Christine Jennings and No Vote.
Joseph Gruber