18,000 votes in U.S. House race may be lost
Thousands of votes were either not counted or not cast in Sarasota’s nationally watched congressional race.
BY MARC CAPUTO
SARASOTA – The latest Florida election whodunit, replete with a razor-thin vote margin and a looming recount, played out here Wednesday as state and county officials were at a loss to explain why 18,382 votes weren’t cast or recorded in the nationally watched congressional race to replace Katherine Harris.
Already, the specter of the botched 2000 elections has gripped the area, owing to the mere mention of Harris, the former Florida secretary of state, as well as partisan battle cries, with Republican Vernon Buchanan saying it’s time to move on after he claimed a 368-vote victory near 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Democrat Christine Jennings said voters were ”victimized” because the ”staggering number” of so-called ”undervotes” were disproportionately higher here compared with the other four counties in House District 13 and other races. More votes were recorded for the Hospital Board Southern District.