Audit Finds No Evidence Of Florida Voting Machines Malfunctioning

Friday, February 23rd 2007, 5:39 pm
By: News On 6

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ An audit of touch-screen voting machines at the center of a dispute in a congressional election found no evidence of malfunction, the Florida secretary of state said Friday.

The audit was conducted after more than 18,000 ballots were cast in Sarasota County without a selection in the District 13 congressional race in November between Republican Vern Buchanan and Democrat Christine Jennings. Buchanan was the certified winner by 369 votes, but Jennings sued, alleging that the machines malfunctioned.

``Governor Crist and I are committed to ensuring that every Floridian's vote is counted and I am confident that the race in Sarasota County was fair and accurate,'' said Secretary of State Kurt Browning in a statement about the official audit report.

Buchanan was seated in Congress in January, but Jennings has yet to concede the race.

Third-party voter advocate groups, along with Jennings, have been asking to examine the machines' source code, or programming chips, to find out whether they malfunctioned. The audit report released Friday said an independent study of the source code of the machines used in the election found no evidence of malfunction.

``This appears to be a thorough and independent review of the source code, which is what (Jennings) wanted in this case,'' said Glenn Burhans, an attorney for Buchanan.

Jennings spokesman David Kochman said in a statement the audit was flawed.

``Its unfortunate that the states election officials were more concerned about sweeping the problem under the rug than finding out the truth about what went wrong with Sarasota County's voting system.''