Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


UPDATE: Every morning we review and individually digest Florida political news articles, editorials and punditry. Our sister site, FLA Politics was selected by Campaigns & Elections as one of only ten state blogs in the nation
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Welcome To Florida Politics

Thanks for visiting. On a semi-daily basis we scan Florida's major daily newspapers for significant Florida political news and punditry. We also review the editorial pages and political columnists/pundits for Florida political commentary. The papers we review include: the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Naples News, Sarasota Herald Tribune, St Pete Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Tallahassee Democrat, and, occasionally, the Florida Times Union; we also review the political news blogs associated with these newspapers.

For each story, column, article or editorial we deem significant, we post at least the headline and link to the piece; the linked headline always appears in quotes. We quote the headline for two reasons: first, to allow researchers looking for the cited piece to find it (if the link has expired) by searching for the original title/headline via a commercial research service. Second, quotation of the original headline permits readers to appreciate the spin from the original piece, as opposed to our spin.

Not that we don't provide spin; we do, and plenty of it. Our perspective appears in post headlines, the subtitles within the post (in bold), and the excerpts from the linked stories we select to quote; we also occasionally provide other links and commentary about certain stories. While our bias should be immediately apparent to any reader, we nevertheless attempt to link to every article, column or editorial about Florida politics in every major online Florida newspaper.


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The Blog for Saturday, December 17, 2005

Hacking the Vote (Continued)

    Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho asked state elections officials Friday to reexamine their voting machine certification program after computer experts conducting tests in Sancho's office hacked into Diebold machines and altered the vote count.

    Gov. Jeb Bush, despite calling Sancho as a "maverick" who uses "unorthodox" methods, said earlier in the day that incoming Secretary of State Sue Cobb should "carefully" consider Sancho's complaint.
    "Voting machines hacked, Leon official says". See also "State will examine balloting"("Despite Leon County Elections Supervisor Ion Sancho's "maverick" reputation for loud public criticism of Florida's voting machinery, the state will seriously check out his warnings about ballot security, Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday") and "Review of vote policy?" ("Bush said he supports reviewing voting machines after a test by an elections supervisor showed that hackers could electronically stuff some ballot boxes.")

    Meanwhile, over in Volusia County:
    Volusia County Council members, and the voters they represent, have a lot to thank the supervisor of elections for.

    We're not talking about Ann McFall, who oversees voting in this county. We're talking about Ion Sancho, the elections supervisor for Leon County.

    Sancho did what McFall should have done. He invited computer-security experts to hack into the Accuvote system made by Diebold Elections Systems -- the same voting system Volusia County uses. It should come as no surprise to anyone that the hack was successful, as it has been in other parts of the country. The experts, representatives of elections-security advocacy group BlackBoxVoting.org, were able to break into Leon County machines three times in a four-month period. Each time, the experts were able to change voting tallies without leaving evidence of their electronic vandalism.

    Some would argue that Sancho stacked the deck against the Diebold machines by allowing access to his mainframe system and the cards used to program computers at precincts. But the experts had the same access that elections-office staffers or (in many counties) company technical-support personnel would have. Their ability to break in proves the need for more extensive security protocols, but it also raises doubts about whether it's possible to secure an electronic-only system against tampering.
    "Volusia council opts for verifiable voting system" ("They voted to dump the Diebold voting system the county's used for years in favor of a new system manufactured by Elections Systems & Software of Nebraska.") See also "Volusia County votes to replace voting machines with new system" and "Volusia dumps Diebold voting system".

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