After months of wrangling with Rick Scott Watch, Hillsborough County officials have released a written document concerning the alleged "glitch" that erased 38,000 votes in areas of minority electors, on Nov. 2, 2010.
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The document dated March 1, 2011, released by Hillsborough interim county attorney Odom Feb. 28. 2012 is from Dominion voting; the machine and software vendor, now controlling nearly 50 percent of all voting in Florida, and nationwide.
Dominion voting appears to call what had been deemed a "glitch" by the media, and the SOE, operator error on the part of county election staff and officials.
In terse technical language it indicates a "hot removal" of the memory cards during the phase when those memory cards were coded with vote-counting software before those cards were sent out to count the votes at early voting places. Only early voting was affected in the "glitch."
In more plain language, elections staff may have removed the cards from the machines before the process of downloading all the vote counting software was complete: essentially sending those cards to early voting places without the ability to capture the votes.
Nearly 50 percent of the ballots in the last three days of early voting "failed to download" onto the memory cards at early voting locations in the towns and communities of Temple Terrace, Town N' Country, West Tampa, New Tampa, South Shore and Jan Platt.
This resulted in a rescanning exercise put on display for the media at the Falkenburg Road Annex where more than a dozen poll workers ran 38,000 ballots "back through" scanning machines during the late evening hours of November 2, and the early morning hours Nov. 3, 2010.
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This, along with similar problems in Palm Beach delayed the concession speech of democratic gubernatorial contender Alex Sink until nearly 10 a.m., and acceptance speech of republican Governor-elect Rick Scott until nearly noon on Nov. 3, 2010.
The document, which reads almost as though taken from a product instruction manual comes after repeated verbal and written requests to the SOE, county commissioners, and finally Mr. Odom.
Several readers of this blog, fans on Facebook of Rick Scott Watch, Occupy Rick Scott, Rick Scott: Enemy of the State, and Occupy Rigged Elections were given a form email to send to Odom demanding answers, just before Mr. Odom sent out the document to my Gmail account DavidAnthonyKearns@Gmail.com
This marks the first time any documentation regarding this, perhaps the largest single computer/software election glitch in the state's history, has ever been published in any media.
Rick Scott Watch began asking questions relative to this "glitch" or "operator error" in July 2011 during research for our book Rick Scott: Enemy of the State
History of our quest, for those just joining us.
Hillsborough SOE Earl Lennard told us July 21, 2011 that a glitch did result in a rescanning during the primary in August, as far as he could recall. He offered no documentation when asked, but said a report was forthcoming from Dominion, apparently referring to this one dated four months prior to our interview with him.
He also said the rescanning process was completed by 10:30 p.m. Both are false statements which were not corrected by MIS director Tim Bobanic, nor chief of staff Craig Latimer who were present during the interview.
Rick Scott Watch approached Hillsborough County officials on three occasions making personal three minute appearances before the county commission demanding answers which weren't forthcoming.
We also sent numerous emails to both commissioners and the county administrator regarding this "glitch" before receiving this response yesterday.
Not the First Time in Hillsborough
The events are similar to the logistically and mechanically "glitched" election of 2008 in Hillsborough, following which a box containing 440 voted but uncounted ballots were found in a warehouse and presented to newly elected supervisor of elections Phyllis Busansky.
Busansky had narrowly defeated controversial incumbent Buddy Johnson.
Johnson faced numerous allegations of mismanagement and his tenure later faced an FBI investigation.
It came to light during an audit and the FBI investigation, he had a convicted arsonist working for his office earning $20,000 for less than four months work.
Busansky was found dead on her hotel room floor in June during a conference for supervisors of elections, held in St. Augustine.
Governor Charlie Crist replaced her with republican former schools super Dr. Earl Lennard who is not seeking re-election in 2012.
Many questions remain.
Namely the obvious: For more than a year following the remarks of Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe "heads are going to roll over this" (in an article dated Nov. 4, 2010 of the Tampa Tribune,) commissioners have remained unified in their silent disinterest. Why?
Perhaps in an unrelated development, Commissioner Sharpe announced his decision to run for congress in August of 2011.
Why has there been no investigation or inquiry into this event despite the assertion, that has been known since March of 2011, that the machines were not to blame, but that the election staff themselves were for an error that an eleven year old operating the CD burner on his desktop computer would easily avoid?
Then these empty useless vote tabulating cards were sent by the SOE specifically to areas designated to capture early voting in minority communities. Why?
Why wasn't the error discovered sooner, so that an emergency "rescanning" was necessary in the middle of the night? Were the personal vehicles of the poll workers used to transport the ballots to Falkenburg Road as television video seems to suggest, or were county vehicles used?
Why that number, 38,000; which so conveniently, mathematically buoys the result of Scott v Sink over the rocky shoals of a recount?
Given all of this, why hasn't there been an investigation of the election of Rick Scott by some governing authority?
And where is the media on all of this? Why are they so silent? Can't they even ask these questions? Is it impermissible for them to do so now? Is this how bad it has gotten in this country?
More to come.