Initial audit of FL machines finds no problems

A simulated election using machines not actually used in election shows no problems, but further audits will continue.

Florida state election officials in Sarasota County conducted a simulated election on five e-voting machines not used in the county's problematic election, as the state proceeds with an audit to explain why 18,000 cast ballots didn't include a vote for the hotly contested Congressional race, AP reports.

The workers were following tight scripts of 10 predetermined voting patterns, such as initially skipping the Jennings-Buchanan race, then going back to make a choice.

"They're trying to simulate Election Day as close as possible," state elections spokeswoman Jenny Nash said.

The touch screens were being videotaped, so the images could be checked for human error if there are found to be discrepancies between the scripts and the votes recorded by the machines, Nash said.

The five machines tested Tuesday were all working properly Tuesday, seeming to indicate the machines were not the problem.

Jennings' attorney Kendall Coffey took issue with the auditing process, contending that the audit by state elections volunteers doesn't replicate actual voter behavior and removes the "human dynamic," such as different ways voters touch the computer screens to record votes.

"You wouldn't do a public opinion poll by surveying Democratic Party staff," Coffey said. "You wouldn't test problems with Ford Motor Co. cars by using Ford employees as testers."

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