Revote Rally in Sarasota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 28, 2006

Contact: Nick Berning at People For the American Way Foundation

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202-467-2369

2 PM Sunday, December 3, 2006
Bayfront Park, Sarasota, Florida

Concerned citizens of Sarasota County and voters from all over Florida will gather at a REVOTE RALLY Sunday, December 3, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. in Bayfront (Island) Park, Sarasota. The entrance to the park is from the parking lot south of Marina Jack’s Restaurant, 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota, FL 34236.

Guest speakers will explain Sarasota’s nearly 15% “undervote” on the touchscreen voting machines, the experts’ scorecard on electronic voting systems, and the need to call upon local and state officials to honor democracy through a paper ballot revote in Sarasota County of the 13th District Congressional race. Other information and entertainment will be on hand.

On November 7, 2006, voters from all political parties were disenfranchised in a massive 18,000+ undervote on touch screen Direct Record Electronic (DRE) voting machines in Sarasota County. For two weeks leading up to Election Day, the Supervisor of Elections failed to respond dutifully to scores of machine malfunction complaints. The automatic “recounts” were nothing more than a reprint, a restatement of tallies from the machines themselves, without any investigation into whether votes were properly recorded. Computer scientists have found the spectacular undervote – in one county, one race – aberrant and statistically baffling. Despite this, local and state officials have ignored voters and refused to acknowledge the possibility of machine malfunction as a cause.

On November 21, 2006, 11 Sarasota County voters, represented by VoterAction, the ACLU of Florida, People for the American Way Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, filed a lawsuit contesting the election and demanding a revote on paper ballots. One of the lawyers will give an update on the progress of the lawsuit at the rally.

Our vote is the voice in which democracies speak. The likely failure of Sarasota County’s touch screen machines silences that voice. The persistent failure of elected officials to address a likely cause of the undervote suggests at best, disinterest and, at worst, intent to deprive and silence voters. All voters must know our election processes work, and that our votes will be accurately counted.

Common Cause, Voter Action, People for the American Way Foundation, and the ACLU of Florida are sponsoring this event, together with VoteTrustUSA, the Electric Frontier Foundation, the Sarasota County NAACP, the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections and other nonpartisan Florida election reform groups, including the Florida Fair Elections Coalition, the Voting Integrity Alliance of Tampa Bay, the Broward Election Reform Coalition, and the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition.