Skip to comments.18 new voting machines go missing in Broward
Posted on 10/17/2002 8:17:24 AM PDT by FlaFreedom
18 new voting machines go missing in Broward
By Buddy Nevins and Scott Wyman Staff Writers Posted October 17 2002
The Broward County elections office is missing 18 new touch-screen voting machines worth $3,000 each because of poor record-keeping before the flawed Sept. 10 primary, the new elections chief said on Wednesday.
"We don't know where they are. I don't think anyone does at this point," said Joseph Cotter, who was hired to fix the problems highlighted by the chaotic primary.
The missing machines were not used in the election. They were part of Elections Supervisor Miriam Oliphant's outreach program and presumably were used to educate voters on how to cast ballots on the ATM-like devices.
But Oliphant had no system to track the machines, Cotter said.
"This is very serious," Cotter said. "This is $54,000 in taxpayers' money that we can't find. ... No records, or very inadequate records, were apparently maintained of who took the machines from the warehouse and where they were going."
County commissioners, already reeling from the elections office's budget deficit and the missteps surrounding the primary, were disturbed to hear about the latest problem. They paid $17.2 million for the machinery last winter to replace the old punch-card ballots and said they would hold Oliphant accountable for the lost equipment.
"Every day there is another surprise," Commissioner Kristin Jacobs said. "I just look forward for this election to be over so we can regroup and start fresh. This is absolutely numbing by now. It's unbelievable that there were no systems in place to track where the machines were."
Cotter predicted the machines would be found "in somebody's trunk or someplace's closet."
The touch-screen machines were handled more loosely than the booths used for the old punch-card ballots. Cotter said he could not remember losing one of the booths in the two decades he worked for Oliphant's predecessor, Jane Carroll.
The machines will be tracked more carefully in the Nov. 5 general election, Cotter said. County workers will pick them up immediately after polls close and deliver them to the election warehouse.
Officials for the county and Election Systems & Software, the machines' manufacturer, said the machines would be of little value to anyone who finds them.
Each machine consists mainly of the touch screen and three small hard drives used to store votes. Most of the technology involved is kept on separate hand-held activation devices.
Because their value is largely limited to voting, Cotter thinks the machines have been misplaced.
"This simply appears to be adequate asset controls not being in place," he said.
Officials doubt the lost machines will have any effect on the November election. The county bought 5,040 machines. In addition, ES&S loaned 250 more for training and will have another 320 on standby on Election Day.
Cotter ordered an inventory of the machines, using their bar codes, shortly after he was hired.
The inventory released on Wednesday found that Oliphant's office kept spotty records of what events the consultants visited or how many machines they used. Cotter said he has assigned a staff member to identify the places where outreach programs took place and contact them to see if the machines are there.
Oliphant's office faced criticism even before the audit for its nonchalant treatment of the machines. Four days before the election, a maitre d' driving to work found three of them lying in the middle of Prospect Road.
Dozens of machines were left at polling places -- in clubhouses, churches, schools and community halls -- long after the election. Oliphant's staffers said they weren't concerned even as people were calling the office to ask why the equipment was still around two weeks after the election.
The last machines left at polling places were recovered in late September. Five were discovered at a fire station at Oakland Park Boulevard and the Intracoastal.
As for machines used for voter outreach, two were left at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel until the paper informed the elections office three weeks ago.
The outreach program, paid for in part by a $603,429 state grant, also has been controversial. Oliphant has been criticized for using it to give thousands of dollars in public money to her political allies.
Outside consultants, many of them friends of Oliphant, were hired to demonstrate the machines to civic clubs and condominium groups, and at fairs and other public events.
Commissioners said they want the elections office to pay for the missing machines or find some other way to recoup the cost through insurance claims.
"It's very sloppy management," Commissioner Suzanne Gunzburger said. "This is taxpayer dollars being wasted, and I'm just appalled."
Buddy Nevins can be reached at email@example.com or 954-356-4571.
Copyright © 2002, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
(Excerpt) Read more at sun-sentinel.com ...
Yeah, right! How stupid do they think we are? These machine are extremely "valuable" to someone who wants to change the outcome of an election.
The fraud will be predetermined and untraceable.
The Dems have corrupted the ballot box nationwide, it's not just Florida. They are in complete control of a few key counties in just about every state, and are willing and able to stuff the boxes with whatever they need to win, even if it takes 200% voter turnouts and 100% to 0% Rat margins.
Shut that county down.
VOTER FRAUD ALERT.
I have a girlfriend active in the Republican party. The night of the 2000 election, she told me to note how many "missing" ballots were going to suddenly turn up in warehouses. It was amazing how as they counted the votes, all those ballots turned up uncounted in warehouses. She said they store them, and "suddenly" find as many as they need to turn the election after all the rest of the results are in and they know how many they need to turn the election.
Since then I have been watching for that, and sure enough, that is exactly what happens over and over again in counties like Broward and Palm Beach. This election they found "missing" vote recorders. (The little electronic box they put in to record the votes.) I watched them steal the election from Reno and knew exactly what they were doing. And it will happen again too this election - Jeb will be the actual winner, but McBride will try and perhaps succeed in stealing it.
Note to Ms. Jacobs:
The time to "regroup and start fresh" is NOW, before the election.
"We don't know where they are. I don't think anyone does at this point," said Joseph Cotter, who was hired to fix the problems highlighted by the chaotic primary.Wanna bet!!! Just search the DNC campaign headquarter... SIGH.