Manual recounts now ILLEGAL in Florida!

From Brad Friedman to Stephen Goldstein of the Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Stephen –

One quick, and notable addition to your article to run tomorrow (as forwarded to me by my friend MCM). New legislation in Florida has made it illegal to manually count or even audit paper ballots that have already been counted by a machine.

Thus, the now-infamous Leon County, FL hack in December of 2005, which was carried out on a Diebold optical scan machine, and resulted in the vote being completely flipped without a trace being left behind (save for the paper ballots which had the correct totals, unlike the optical scan machine which had been hacked and reported the virtual opposite results) would never have been found.

Even *with* the correct paper ballots right in front of their face, Florida election law would have disallowed the Elections Director, or anybody else, by law(!) from reviewing the ballots to make sure the reported machine count was accurate!

The flipped results of the mock election were not close enough to have triggered a mandatory recount (had it been a real election), but even if such a recount had been forced, the Elections Officials would have had to simply run those paper ballots back through the same machines that mis-reported them the first time!

I cover much of this over at my blog (, and you may feel free to contact me if you need any more details on any of this. Better yet, contact Leon County Election Director, Ion Sancho aobut it if you haven’t yet done spoken to him about it!

Thanks for the great article!


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