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Fri October 26, 2012
Palm Beach County GOP On Ballot Blunder: 'Here We Go Again'
From the county that brought us hanging chads 12 years ago -- a new voting snafu.
This time, the problem in Palm Beach County is 27,000 misprinted absentee ballots that can't be read by voting tabulation machines.
But Florida Republicans and Democrats say the situation doesn't appear as grave as the butterfly ballot fiasco that threw the 2000 Presidential Election into turmoil.
Palm Beach County GOP Chair Sid Dinerstein says when he heard about the mishap, his first reaction was, "Here we go again."
But he says he's confident that everything will be resolved by Election Day.
"We, the Republican Party, have no fear that there is any fraud or fraudulent intent anywhere in this process," Dinerstein says. " So now we're simply down to what will a very small amount of human error."
An Arizona vendor mistakenly printed 60,000 ballots missing a heading above the retention races for the Florida Supreme Court. Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher and her staff have been working around the clock, hand-copying markings from bad ballots to new ones that can be read by scanning machines.
Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Scott Arceneaux says it appears Bucher has enough checks and balances in place to properly count the ballots.
"She set up a process that's working well and we think it's going to be done by Election Day so that we'll have results that night," Arceneaux says.
The whole process is being watched and vetted by teams of state elections officials and representatives of both major political parties.