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Jennings filing election challenge

Democrat Christine Jennings is heading to Washington D.C. today to file an elections protest in Florida's District 13 congressional race. Today's the deadline for the congressional challenge, which comes as teams of lawyers for Jennings, Republican Vern Buchanan, Election Systems & Software, Sarasota County Elections Supervisor and the state grill experts in a Tallahassee court over whether a judge should force ES&S to give up its secret source codes that drive the iVotronic touch-screen voting machines.


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Even Democrats Agree: Enough is Enough

Sarasota—As Christine Jennings continues her attempt to litigate her way to victory in Florida’s Thirteenth Congressional District, members of her own party have begun to criticize her dispute, warning Jennings that she is being portrayed as a disgruntled loser who cannot accept defeat. Over the past two days, Jennings has joined a cadre of out-of-town lawyers and liberal special interest groups in front of a judge in an effort to overturn the will of the voters in CD-13 by throwing out the election results.

Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat, said it is unfair to the constituents Jennings supposedly wants to represent, stating, “I think it's hard to justify allowing the people of the 13th Congressional District to go without representation for any length of time. There's no reason to do that.” (“Jennings to protest to Congress,” Herald-Tribune, 12/20/06)

Jennings’ most recent attempt to contest the election is her most desperate to date, and the most expensive—her lawsuit against the people of CD-13 and her contest in the House will potentially cost the taxpayers millions of dollars. Moreover, Jennings’ election contest will no doubt divide Congress and destroy any spirit of bipartisanship.

Election expert David Kimball agrees, saying, “To make one of your very first acts to basically undo an election result, even though it's a disputed result, I think would not be the foot [the Democrats] would want to get off on politically.” (“Jennings to protest to Congress,” Herald-Tribune, 12/20/06)

Democrat Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-California), who was entangled in her own election contest for 15 months, also warned Jennings of the damage she would cause, noting that Jennings’ dispute in Congress would be “pure hell.” (“Jennings to protest to Congress,” Herald-Tribune, 12/20/06)

“I think it's very difficult in a time when you're trying to be as bipartisan as possible for the Democrats to at least not seat the Republican provisionally,” said Sanchez.

The State of Florida, which conducted a test this week on several disputed machines, found no evidence of machine malfunction. To date, there have been two election audits and two recounts. The machines and the source codes were examined and tested prior to the election and certified by the state. Additionally, the Secretary of State yesterday issued a report indicating that the machines accurately recorded votes in the election and that no votes were lost.

According to the Associated Press, “The devices’ maker called Jennings’ claims speculation,” finding no reason to contest the election. (“Jennings to contest race as fight goes on over voting machines,” Associated Press, 12/20/06).

Vern Buchanan, who was certified by the State of Florida as the winner of the election, has made an effort to get beyond Jennings’ litigation and resume the people’s business by representing them in Washington, D.C. Jennings, however, has confirmed the worst fears of Republicans and Democrats alike: she plans to continue her destructive and divisive attempts. “No matter how you cut, slice or dice this situation, it's in your face,” said Jennings.

Jennings has made certain of that, though the people of the Thirteenth Congressional District certainly don’t deserve or desire it.

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Daniel Gentile

No evidence of malfunction? Hundreds of voters complained of problems that were witnessed and documented by poll workers. Are they all part of a vast conspiracy? In the first test of machines identical to those used in the election, there were numerous problems and miscounts. Touch screens are notorious for needing exact calibration as demonstrated numerous times. But Florida's machines are perfect, right? And how can software be determined to be error free if nobody is allowed to examine it? Have none of these people heard of non-disclosure agreements that computer consultants routinely sign? Not one of the people you quote out of context claims Jennings is wrong. Not one said she should drop the case. They only comment on the mess that it is. Sending the wrong person to Congress only makes it worse. It is Vern Buchanan who should criticized for not allowing an error free election to be held and the will of the people to be heard. If he was duely elected, he would be elected again. Why then is he fearful?

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