Feinstein asks for probe in FL election

She asks GAO to look into irregularities in 2004 and 2006 elections and will offer bill for paper trails.

Sen. Diane Feinstein of California is calling for a "top-to-bottom" investigation into the House race in Sarasota County, FL, where no one can explain why 18,000 ballots didn't include a vote for a hotly contested House race, CNet's Anne Broache notes.

Feinstein, the chairwoman of a Senate panel with jurisdiction over election matters, asked the Goverment Accountability Office to compile information about irregularities in direct-recording electronic voting systems, or DREs, which do not typically produce a paper record.

She requested that investigators scrutinize both the 2004 and 2006 elections and include in their research the ES&S iVotronic System used in Sarasota, the Avante Touch Screen, the Diebold's TSX, the Sequoia/Smartmatic HAAT (Hybrid Activator, Accumulator & Transmitter), and the Sequoia AVC Edge System.

Feinstein also also asked investigators to look at printers that have been attached to some of the systems to provide a paper record of the voter's intent. Feinstein intends to introduce a bill that would require use of paper trails in electronic voting machines, perhaps in time for the 2008 presidential race. A similar bill has already been introduced in the House

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