Voting Machines Found Not at Fault in Fla. Election

Associated Press
Saturday, February 24, 2007

TALLAHASSEE, Feb. 23 -- An audit of touch-screen voting machines at the center of a dispute in a congressional election found no evidence of malfunction, Florida's 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.

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.

"Governor [Charlie] 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," Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning said in a statement about the official audit report.

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

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

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