“Glitch” wipes out 1,000 early votes in black FL neighborhood

Always Florida

There was a story over at NBC’s The Grio three days ago noting that at one Florida polling location, in a heavily black neighborhood, the number of people who voted early was suddenly “revised” from 2,945 to 1,942 – that’s a 34% decrease.

At first, polling officials blamed it on a “computer glitch.”  Uh huh.  And what glitch would that be?

The local supervisor of elections (SOE) didn’t inspire a lot of hope when speaking about another, smaller, change to the early voting numbers at another polling location:

Broward SOE spokesperson Mary Cooney acknowledged that the Sunday totals were revised, and said she would look into why.

“I can’t tell you definitively now,” Cooney said, “but I queried the person who posts those numbers and the most significant number he told me he changed was an instance where 1050 should have been 1150 — the numbers were transposed.”

He transposed the numbers by hand? And this is how Florida tallies votes?

The Grio followed up on the story the next day, Tuesday of this week, and got a different answer about the 1,000 vote discrepancy: now they’re saying “human error.”

The SOE chief says the changes, particularly at a polling place in a predominantly black neighborhood where National Action Network chief and MSNBC host Rev. Al Sharpton and a group of pastors held “souls to the polls” rallies over the weekend, were the result of human error.

In a telephone interview with theGrio late Monday, Snipes said the SOE’s office runs two tallies — one manually calculated at the precincts by adding up the total number of voters swiped through an electronic voter identification system called EVID, which was purchased from a Florida vendor, and a second, electronic tally conducted at the Supervisor of Elections office after the polls close each day. The electronic numbers go directly to a database.  Snipes said the woman who tallied the votes at the E. Pat Larkins Community Center, which had its vote tally revised downward by 1,003, simply added the numbers incorrectly.

“The woman made a mistake,” Snipes said. “That was absolutely an addition error. The actual numbers are 1942 not 2945, so she made an addition error.”

In the future, they’re only going to report the electronic result, which still begs the question of which result is really correct, and what else do they do that might result in human error?  Not to mention, why did they first say it was a computer glitch?

And why is it always Florida?  Why always in a heavily Democratic precinct, and why do the errors always help the other guy?  Remember that Florida is already dealing with a widespread GOP voter fraud scandal.  From my earlier post of a month ago:

We reported last night that a firm doing business with the National Republican Committee and the Romney campaign was being investigated for voter fraud. The firm has done $2.9 million in business with the Republican National Committee this year alone, and another firm run by the same did $80,000 in work for Romney.

And, as I said last night, harkening back to all the faux outrage from Republicans claiming that ACORN was trying to steal the election: “Republicans accuse us of doing what they are, and we’re not.” AP has more:

What first appeared to be an isolated problem in one Florida county has now spread statewide, with election officials in at least seven counties informing prosecutors or state election officials about questionable voter registration forms filled out on behalf of the Republican Party of Florida.

Lux said there have been forms that listed dead people and were either incomplete or illegible. He met with local prosecutors on Friday, but added that his staff was still going through hundreds of forms dropped off by Strategic employees.

Lux, who is a Republican, said he warned local party officials earlier this month when he first learned the company was paying people to register voters.

“I told them ‘This is not going to end well,’” Lux said.

Always Florida.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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