Thursday, January 04, 2007

Florida Democrat Appeals Court Ruling

Lake Country Record Bee
Fla. Democrat Appeals Court Ruling

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Democrat Christine Jennings asked an appeals court Wednesday to overturn a ruling that denied her access to the programming code for electronic voting machines used in Sarasota County in the November election.

Jennings wants experts to examine the programming to determine if the machines somehow failed to count votes in the congressional race in which she was running against Republican Vern Buchanan.

The state declared Buchanan the winner of the race to replace Katherine Harris by 369 votes and he is scheduled to be sworn in Thursday.

But Jennings is seeking to have the election results thrown out because about 18,000 ballots cast on the touchscreen machines in the county didn't record a vote for Congress. The state - and Buchanan - assume that those people, nearly 15 percent of voters, chose to skip the race. Jennings alleges that many tried to vote but their votes weren't counted.

Circuit Judge William Gary ruled last week that Jennings' allegations amounted to conjecture and she had no right to violate the trade secrets of the company that made the voting machines, Election Systems & Software, by examining the programming code.

The First District Court of Appeal, where the appeal was filed, has no timeline for ruling on the case.