As noted in a previous blog post, this morning the Task Force on the contested Florida 13th District election met briefly to hear the final report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO was asked to review the election machines (and previously conducted tests of those machines) used in Sarasota County in order to determine their role in the high undervote rate for that particular election.
In testimony this morning (available at the GAO website), the GAO indicated in their testing that they could find no evidence that the voting machines contributed to the undervotes. Since the scope of their investigation was limited to the machines, they cannot – and did not – make any conclusions about what did contribute to the undervotes. The GAO report does note that a paper trail would have made their investigations a lot easier by providing an independent means of confirming the accuracy of the machine vote.
As a result of this testimony, the Task Force voted unanimously to recommend that the Committee on House Administration dismiss the contest of the 2006 election in Florida’s 13th District. The full committee will act soon on this recommendation. How the public responds to this, in Florida or elsewhere, is anyone’s guess.