A memo sent last year by a voting machine maker to election officials in Florida has reignited controversy over the reliability and accuracy of the company’s machines. Voting activists are now renewing calls to examine source code used in the Election Systems & Software machines during a close election last November.
Activists say the memo, which was uncovered last September but only came to prominence last week, proves that ES&S and Florida election officials knew about problems with the company’s iVotronic touch-screen machines before the election, yet withheld the information from a court to prevent activists from examining the voting software.
The software, activists say, is crucial to a dispute over the 13th Congressional District race in November, in which Democrat Christine Jennings lost by fewer than 400 votes to Republican Vern Buchanan. Jennings and groups of voters filed separate lawsuits contending that the results were questionable because more than 18,000 ballots cast in Sarasota County mysteriously recorded no vote in the congressional race.
Activists say the ES&S memo points to a possible reason for the high “undervote” rate.
“This memo is the smoking gun that says, ‘Yes, Houston, we have a problem,’” says Reginald Mitchell, lawyer for People for the American Way