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State of Florida needs to account for $40 million in mystery HAVA funds

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Citizen News Bulletins: (FL) State needs to account for $40m in mystery HAVA funds

Posted by Bev Harris on Tuesday, May 01, 2007 - 04:13 pm:

Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition (MDERC)


The Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition is demanding that Secretary
of State Kurt Browning to account for millions of dollars given to the
State of Florida in 2003, under the federal Help America Vote Act of
2002 (HAVA).

"Those funds were supposed to have been distributed 100% to Florida's
counties to reimburse them for replacing of their outdated punch card
systems. Now we find out that according to the Secretary of State in
his testimony before the Elections Assistance Commission that only 20%
of the funds were given out to the counties and that the Secretary of
State's Office secreted away the remaining 80%," stated Sandy Wayland,
President of MDERC.

According to Wayland, the issue of the withheld funds came to light
during a hearing held earlier today before the U.S. Election
Assistance Commission in Washington, D.C. "The purpose of the hearing
was for the EAC to determine whether the State of Florida could use
"HAVA funds" to purchase the new optical scan voting systems being
proposed by the Governor and the Florida legislature, stated Wayland.
"But lo' and behold, it comes out for the first time that the
Secretary of State's Office intentionally withheld funds that were
supposed to reimburse the counties for getting rid of punch cards, and
it put away that money without anyone knowing," Wayland concluded.

According to MDERC, the secreted funds appear to exceed $40,000,000.
"We are calling on Secretary of State Kurt Browning to publicly
account for the monies in question and to fully reimburse the counties
for the replacement of their punch card systems because that's what
that money is for," demanded Wayland.

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