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What's up in Leon County, Florida: The continuing saga of Ion Sancho and the quest for fair elections...

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I was disappointed to read several days ago that Leon County is back negotiating with the same Diebold whose machines were so easily hacked by Harri Hursti last December. Here are the emails Superintendent of Elections Sancho and I exchanged over the last two days on what exactly is going on there.



04/16/06 1:20 AM
Dear Mr. Sancho and Mr. Thaell (Editor's note: Leon County Commissioner at Large):

I just read a news story from yesterday's which states
that Diebold has now agreed to sell its machines to Leon County. This
was a disturbing development. I'm wondering what this means exactly.
Is all now forgiven? Is the easy hack of Mr. Hursti forgotten?

What exactly has Leon County gained by this? What will the Leon County
voters be getting?

Am I misunderstanding something here? Please let me know. My readers
are interested.

Best wishes,
Joan Brunwasser, Voting Integrity Editor,

Dear Joan:
Thank you for all you have done to share with others what we in
Leon County Elections have endured for pursuing the truth about e voting
in the U.S.
Thus it is not without irony I watch as the Leon County Board of
County Commissioners will decide on April 25, whether they will vote to
buy paperless touchscreen devices from a company who broke their
contract with us, lied to local and state election officials, and for
nine months denied there was a programmable code built into their memory
cards which could allow an insider to alter the results of an election
and not be detected.
Florida law divides the responsibility of the purchase (the Board)
from the administration (my office) of voting equipment. In my opinion,
the strident tactics of the Secretary of State's Office, imposing an
arbitrary deadline of May 1st (never researched by the county attorney)
to buy voting machines and the threats of having the U.S. Justice
Department send federal marshalls to run our elections (a complete
fiction ) have probabably served their purposes - to intimidate the
Board Members into buying the touchscreens.
Our twin concerns over the lack of a verifiable election and the
wishes of the disability community, (see attachment) who want to vote by
telephones at the precincts, on technology they are familiar with, don't
seem to matter much when a majority of the Board Members want to "end"
the controversy, even if that controversy was artificially created by
the vendors and the State Division of Elections to ensure Leon County
would fall into line.
I have learned much over the past three months, and I vow that we
will continue to call for elections where voters' votes will continue to
be counted as the voters intended. That is what American voters should
from our electoral system and in Leon County, that is what they shall
Sincerely, Ion Sancho

(Attachments successfully scanned for viruses.)
Attachment 1: NFBSupport.pdf (application/pdf)


Dear Mr. Sancho:
Thanks so much for your reply. I understand better what's what. I
wonder if you would mind if I post your letter to OpEdNews so that our
very interested readership can be put in the loop.
If so, is there anything that you would like to change before I post

Best wishes to you. You are a man of tremendous integrity and these
days that is a rarer and rarer commodity.


Dear Joan:
I have no retractions or alterations to make to my email to you.
I think it sums up the situation accurately.

Here is an article which spells out Ion Sancho's role in trying to protect Leon (FL) County's voters. As Superintendent of Elections for Leon County, he has stood up to the electronic voting machine companies and the Republican governor and Sec. of State who have tried to intimidate and oust him. He is truly a man of integrity and distinction.
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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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