Friday, December 01, 2006

Florida Elections

Haven't heard much about contested losses in the midterm election? Here's one from Florida. Take a wild guess whose complaining.
Democrats whomped Republicans in last month's midterms, but oddly enough they're still calling in the legal cavalry to contest one of the few races they narrowly lost.

That would be Florida's 13th Congressional District, which runs along the Gulf Coast from just south of Tampa to just north of Fort Myers. The certified winner is Republican Vern Buchanan, who beat Democrat Christine Jennings by fewer than 400 votes out of more than 237,000 cast. Two recounts, which were demanded by Democrats and required by law, have reconfirmed Mr. Buchanan's victory and slightly increased the margin.

Unbowed, the Dems are now suggesting that defective voting machines cost them the race. They point to Sarasota County's 18,000 "undervotes," or incidences where voters cast ballots in other races but not the Buchanan-Jennings contest. Ms. Jennings--along with such liberal partisans as People for the American Way and the American Civil Liberties Union--has filed a lawsuit contesting the results based on "statistical and eyewitness evidence of significant machine malfunctions" in Sarasota's iVotronic touch-screen system.
So the state follows the law, does two recounts and now has to fight in court because the local Dems want to use some method that isn't codified in the law to decide the election. Sounds familiar.
This week, Florida election officials began auditing the voting machines, which is the very thorough and transparent process for determining whether they worked properly on Election Day. There is still no evidence that the machines malfunctioned.

But never mind. Speaker-in-waiting Nancy Pelosi allowed Ms. Jennings to vote in House leadership elections last month, and Democrats could attempt to disallow the Florida certification and vote to seat Ms. Jennings in January unless a new election is granted. Democrats did precisely that in a contested Indiana House race 20 years ago when they last held Congress.
I can't wait to see the fist fight over the chair. I'm hoping it's on CSPAN. It almost looks like they will refuse anything but what they think is the result.

Funny that I haven't heard anything about Repugs going to court to fight close races. There's been a few of them out there as well.

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