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Listen Up: An Amazing Day for Voting Integrity in Sarasota!

By Bev Harris  Posted by Bev Harris (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   No comments
Message Bev Harris
Posted by Bev Harris on Monday, November 13, 2006 - 06:00 pm:

By Bill Bucolo

It was an amazing day for voting integrity in Sarasota.

It's been a rough week for Sarasota Supervisor of Elections Kathy
Dent. And voting in Sarasota will never be the same again, for two

One is Kindra Muntz and the other is Susan Pynchon.

First, against all odds Kindra and her volunteers' petition-driven
paper ballot initiative won easily with the voters, insuring Sarasota
County citizens will henceforth have voter verified paper ballots, and
no more shady events like today's goofy paperless recount attempt.

But if Kindra was the gentle wind blowing toward Sarasota's future,
Susan Pynchon was "Hurricane Susan" today, leaving no doubt exactly
what and where that future is, and they're still picking up after her
at the Supervisor of Election's office. There's simply no other way to
put it except to say that Pynchon was in the faces of the Sarasota
Supervisor Of Elections and her Canvass committee from the very start
this morning. They balked a little at first but when Susan quoted
Florida Statues at them they folded against every one of her

So what had started out as a day of typical DRE- faith based vote
recounting ended with Susan and other observers from the public
standing a foot away, looking over the shoulders of Dent and her
canvass committee as they obediently and loudly read out the vote
counts for each precinct.

It went on for hours, with videos and cameras clicking all the while.

And it was both hilarious and shocking.

When the first under-votes were called out the room went quiet, except
for the gasps.

Pronouncements like:
"Precinct 85:
Buchannan 125
Jennings 130

One precinct after another.

18,000 undervotes. It's one thing to know about these figures, but
another to hear the actual missing vote numbers -- the undervotes were
like a third candidate in the race. To hear nearly as many under-votes
as actual votes for either candidate really drove the point home about
how ridiculous it was to claim that so many people chose not to vote
in this race, but in all the others. An amazing effect.

And this was captured on video.

Voting integrity activist and budding videographer Leonard Schmeige
from Pinellas County, Florida has recorded it all, and should have
something up on YouTube this evening.

* * * * *

Hats off to:
Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections (SAFE)
Florida Fair Elections Coalition (Volusia County; See Susan Pynchon in
the HBO documentary "Hacking Democracy", showing on HBO now.
Leonard Schmiege, of Pinellas County, Florida.

Florida voting activists: Harnessing the power of many imaginations.


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Bev Harris is executive director of Black Box Voting, Inc. an advocacy group committed to restoring citizen oversight to elections.
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