A Do Over in Florida?
In this week’s Nation, the editors argue that a revote should be declared in Florida’s 13th congressional district.
Officially, Republican Vern Buchanan prevailed by a margin of 369 votes over Democrat Christine Jennings. But in Sarasota County, where Jennings won 53 percent of the votes that were counted, more than 18,000 votes have vanished. That's right, 13 percent of the votes cast in that county November 7 have gone missing into the void created by an electronic voting system that generates no paper trail. Buchanan's supporters want us to believe that almost one out of every eight voters in Sarasota County chose not to cast a ballot in a closely contested Congressional race. But other counties in the district reported a drop-off of only 2 to 5 percent.
After the last election, I wrote a piece for the New Republic about the difference between recounts and revotes, and the situations under which each was appropriate. I think in case where there’s a systematic error like the one in Sarasota County, a revote is probably the way to go, but ultimately the better solution is to make sure these kinds of massive errors don’t happen in the first place.