Friday, December 29, 2006

FL-13 Update: House must decide next week

Update: Jennings loses in FL court.

A judge ruled Friday that the Democrat who narrowly lost the race to succeed Rep. Katherine Harris cannot examine the programming code of the electronic voting machines used in the disputed election.

Circuit Judge William Gary ruled that Christine Jennings' arguments about the possibility of lost votes were "conjecture" and did not warrant disclosing the trade secrets of the voting machine company, Election Systems & Software.

Reuters has just reported that the disputed election for Florida's 13th district will be among the first issues to face the 110th Congress when it convenes next week.

Rep. Rush Holt, a New Jersey Democrat who has pushed for better safeguards on electronic voting machines, said on Friday he would make a procedural point to establish the swearing-in of Florida Republican Vern Buchanan does not prejudice ongoing challenges by his Democratic opponent, Christine Jennings.

"This is a district, Sarasota area in Florida, where there's no way of knowing whether the result presented by Florida's secretary of state is valid. In fact, I think there is significant evidence that it is not," Holt told reporters.


Kevin Smith, a spokesman for House Republican leader John Boehner, said the matter was settled.

"Florida authorities conducted a thorough audit of the voting machines used in the district and found no system breakdowns or abnormalities." He added: "The election is over. Vern Buchanan won."

Look for a raucous start to the Democratic Congress. We'll keep an eye on it.

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