Sunday, November 12, 2006

Something Strange in Sarasota

Dan Tokaji's Blog has this:

"Any proposed reforms should of course await the results of the audit and recount to start next week, but one thing is already certain: sound election administration depends on people and procedures, not just machines."
"(I)ncidents like those in Carteret County [North Carolina in 2004] and Sarasota County are extremely serious and warrant careful scrutiny.

Fortunately, that appears to be what's happening. A recount of the election, along with an audit of Sarasota County's system, is scheduled to begin Monday. That audit will reportedly include parallel testing of the voting equipment -- a procedure that, in my opinion, should be done routinely in every election. There are a number of possible explanations for the high number of undervotes. One is the configuration of the ballot, which some voters have complained made it difficult to notice the race. Another possibility, and a far more serious one, is that voters actually made a selection for the race but that the machines for whatever reason failed to record them."

The search for the missing votes

Candidates Head To D.C. As Florida Audits Votes has this regarding the race with the missing 18,000 votes in Katherine Harris' old district:

The audit of Sarasota County's 13th District race will include ballot accounting, tabulator performance and forensic analysis, Secretary of State Sue Cobb said in a letter to Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent.

Officials will also conduct at least two "parallel tests" of the voting equipment, using four of the spare machines that were not used on election day.
What are the nuts and bolts of how these will be done? Please let me know in the comments.