Audit an Exercise in Futility; Revote Only Remedy for Sarasota Voters, Mitchell Says

OTHER UPDATES: Sunday Revote Rally Planned in Sarasota, Voters’ Stories Now Available in Online Videos, Voter and Jennings Lawsuits Consolidated

SARASOTA—After the second day of the state’s audit of Sarasota County voting machines apparently failed to yield useful information, People For the American Way Foundation’s Florida Legal Counsel, Reggie Mitchell, issued the following statement:

“Another day of auditing, and we still don’t know anything more than when we started. No surprise there. This audit was doomed from the start. The election officials overseeing the audit have a vested interest in its outcome. They looked at only five of the 1,500 machines used on Election Day. And even with these limitations, the testers still can't seem to get it right. What could we possibly learn from this exercise in futility?

“We don’t need an audit to tell us that something went terribly wrong. We’ve heard from dozens of voters about the problems they experienced. If you listen to what these very credible longtime Sarasota County citizens have to say, it’s clear that Sarasota’s voting machines malfunctioned, and votes somehow disappeared.

“Too many Sarasota County voters were denied their fundamental right to vote in this election. Nothing less than our democracy is at stake. A revote is the only fair solution to this problem, and momentum is growing to make it happen.”

REVOTE RALLY PLANNED FOR SUNDAY: Voters will gather in Sarasota at 2 p.m. on Sunday to demand a revote in Sarasota County’s portion of the 13th Congressional District. The rally, which will take place at Bayfront Park, is being organized by the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections, and numerous nonpartisan voter advocacy groups including People For the American Way Foundation.

SARASOTA COUNTY VOTERS TELL THEIR STORIES—VIDEO NOW ONLINE: More than 50 voters who encountered problems voting in Sarasota County provided testimony at a November 16 public hearing in Sarasota sponsored by People For the American Way Foundation. Now, video of some of those voters’ testimony is available online (click here).

VOTER AND JENNINGS LAWSUITS CONSOLIDATED: A Tallahassee judge has consolidated the lawsuit filed on behalf of Sarasota County voters by the independent, nonpartisan organizations Voter Action, People For the American Way Foundation, the ACLU Foundation of Florida, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation with the lawsuit filed by the Jennings campaign. Both lawsuits seek a revote in the election. The suits will now be considered together by the court as they move through the legal process.

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