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More Questions Arise About Competence and Impartiality of Sarasota Voting Machine Auditors

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Nick Berning or Josh Glasstetter

November 22, 2006 at 202-467-4999 /

More Questions Arise About Competence and Impartiality of Sarasota Voting
Machine Auditors

One member of the auditing team, Bureau of Voting Systems Certification
chief David Drury, previously authorized the illegal distribution of
uncertified voting machines in Florida

SARASOTA COUNTY-Doubts are arising about a second member of the team
assembled to audit the voting machines implicated in Sarasota County's
massive 13th Congressional District election undervote.

Audit team member David Drury is in charge of voting machine
certification for the state and has a vested interest in finding that the
machines he certified functioned properly. Additionally, according to a
complaint filed by the Florida Fair Elections Coalition
, questions about Drury's
competence have been raised by his decision earlier this year to authorize
the illegal distribution of uncertified voting machines.

Drury is the second person whose participation in the audit
raises concerns about conflict of interest. Last week, PFAW Foundation
criticized the selection of Alec Yasinsac-a political partisan and avowed
opponent of voting machine paper trails-to help lead the state's audit.

"What we've learned about the members of this audit team is
deeply troubling," said PFAW Foundation Legal Director Elliot Mincberg.
"Floridians deserve an impartial audit that will get to the bottom of this
mess. Instead, they're getting a biased and potentially incompetent
investigation. We agree with the editorial board of the Palm Beach Post that
more credibility is needed in this audit so we can all find out what went
wrong with these machines."

The problems presented by Drury's appointment to the audit team
are twofold. First, Drury, who is the chief of the Florida Bureau of Voting
Systems Certification, certified the machines in question. More troubling,
according to the Florida Fair Elections Coalition complaint, earlier this
year, Drury provided a letter to a voting machine manufacturer giving it
permission to ship uncertified voting machines to its Florida customers, but
Florida law clearly requires all machines to be certified.

"Drury's the guy who said the machines were okay to use in the
first place, and now he's being asked to investigate himself?" Mincberg
asked. "It just doesn't make sense. And that's before you even get to the
questions raised by his decision to tell one machine manufacturer that it
could ignore the law and send out uncertified machines. Voters deserve

In addition to PFAW Foundation, the ACLU of Florida has
expressed concern about the decision to involve Yasinsac in the audit. And
today, the Palm Beach Post weighed in with an editorial calling for a more
"credible" and "impartial" audit (you can read that editorial here)
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