Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning was not pleased when a federal judge ordered elections officials to stop enforcing Florida’s “no match” law. Browning said he will immediately appeal and questions the timing of the decision. Others might question how two years have passed and 14,000 disenfranchised Florida residents are not yet legitimized registered voters, or definitively proven illegal (not just rejected by a database “no match” on social security, driver’s license, name or other clerical snafu. http://election.dos.state.fl.us/hava/pdf/revisedHAVAplan.pdf).
Browning, a former Pasco County Supervisor of Elections was appointed by Governor Charlie Crist in 2006. So Browning has only had one year to constructively resolve the 14,000:
- One year to write a computer program to search, match, flag and adjust for use of multiple surname configurations. One year to correct the error that barred Florida residents from voting due to their use of two surnames.
- One year to incorporate a sounds-like program to search, match, and flag names with non-traditional spelling or names unintentionally misspelled or incorrectly entered into State and Federal databases.
- One year to check and fix. Verify information from the 14,000 and correct the State and/or Federal databases as applicable. One year to determine why these 14,000 Florida residents were barred from voting because their social security numbers or drivers license numbers did not match.
If and when technology fails, one year to manually reprocess, communicate and concede these people their right to vote. What would it take to manually check and fix 14,000 should-be voters over a one year period? Less than 40 voter registration corrections per day. How many minutes per correction, 10 minutes, 20, an hour?
But then, Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning might still be wondering why he spent so much time trying to prove to the public that the voting machines are accurate and secure and whether it was worth the effort, when he should be spending time running good elections (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12586276).
Does Kurt Browning also wonder if it’s worth the effort to ensure voters in his state can vote?