Friday, November 17, 2006

More on FL-13: Accusations and Calls for Revote

Well, it was only a matter of time before things began to heat-up. People For the American Way, and other like-minded groups - held a public meeting on Wednesday to call for a revote. And now Dem. Jennings is accusing Rep. Buchanan of obstruction.

(AP - via St. Pete Times) SARASOTA - Democrat Christine Jennings accused opponent Republican Vern Buchanan on Thursday of putting up legal blocks to hamper her ability to dispute the Sarasota County results in their contested congressional election.

Jennings unofficially trailed Buchanan by about 400 votes in the five-county 13th Congressional District before a required manual recount began Thursday. She gained an additional vote as a recount of provisional ballots began. The canvassing board will review military and overseas provisional ballots today, Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent said.

During a Circuit Court hearing, Judge Deno Economou told Buchanan's attorney, Hayden Dempsey, to choose an expert by 5 p.m. Monday to work with Jennings and Sue Cobb, the secretary of state, on a separate audit of voting machines aimed at determining whether there is anything irregular about some 18,000 no-votes recorded in the congressional race in the county. Cobb's office has said both sides will participate or neither; it will do the audit alone if Buchanan provides no expert.

Dempsey denied Jennings' claim after the hearing. "We frankly think the secretary of state doing it alone, independently, is fine, but if they want us to have an expert to participate we are happy to do so," he said.

About 200 people gathered at a public hearing Thursday night held by voter advocacy groups. Many people testified they had to vote multiple times to record a vote in the Buchanan-Jennings race and were successful only because they went back to review their choices. The room filled with applause when some called for a revote.

Is Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Boca Raton) a conspiracy theorist, or not? You decide.
(Sarasota Herald-Tribune) "Now I'm not a conspiracy theorist," Wexler said. "But you can't help but mention that the one county that happened to have all the problems was actually the county that supported the Democratic candidate for Congress."
It now looks as if any hope for a quick resolution is gone.

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