Drury Comments Reveal Preexisting Bias, Cast Even More Doubt on Integrity of Audit Process

‘They’re not going to find anything,’ says state official overseeing audit before examination of voting machine programming code even begins

SARASOTA COUNTY—The Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported today that David Drury, chief of the Florida Bureau of Voting Systems Certification and the state official in charge of the Sarasota voting machine audit, has prejudged an important part of the investigation before it even begins.

“They’re not going to find anything,” Drury told the Herald-Tribune when talking about the upcoming source code review of the voting machines’ computer programming. “It is my belief, and I rarely like to speculate but it is based upon the parallel testing, that there will be nothing found in the source code that will explain the undervote.”

People For the American Way Foundation’s Florida Legal Counsel Reggie Mitchell strongly criticized Drury’s comments and said they underscore the fact that this audit is far from the type of open-minded, impartial, independent investigation that voters and voter advocacy groups have called for.

“Here you have the guy in charge of the audit announcing his predictions about the outcome before the investigation of software code even begins,” Mitchell said. “That’s like a judge beginning a trial by telling the jury that he expects the evidence to show that the defendant is not guilty. It’s not right, and it’s not fair to the thousands of Sarasota County voters who are wondering how their votes disappeared. It just underscores the fact that far from being an impartial investigation, this audit has become a joke.”

Numerous Sarasota County voters have reported encountering voting problems that experts believe may have been caused by faulty voting machine software. The voter plaintiffs in a nonpartisan lawsuit filed by Voter Action, People For the American Way Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the ACLU Foundation of Florida have sought, but have so far been denied access to, this software, so that they can conduct an independent review. As it currently stands, only the voting machine manufacturer and the state’s auditors have access to the software.

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