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Mar 22, 2007



You wrote, "Florida Election Supervisor Kathy Dent told me that she was unaware of voter problems with the touch-screen machines until after the first tabulations were made [...]"

Parsing this very carefully, and in light of the surrounding context, you seem to be relating that Ms. Dent told you that she was unaware of any problems other than those that prompted her Fri, Nov 3, 2006 email to all precinct clerks.


But your post here doesn't say that explicitly.

Instead, on the surface, you seem to be implying that Ms. Dent was less-than-candid in her interview with _Wired_ regarding what she knew and when she knew it.

Exact quotes would be helpful here.

Kim Zetter

Nedu, thanks for your note. I didn't mean to imply that Dent was less than candid. I posted the info from our interview here to clarify her statement in the Wired News story, which I thought needed context since it contradicted a Herald Tribune news report that came out before the election. Since I didn't have space to provide this context in the WN article, (even online reporters have word limits) I posted it to the blog.

Dent says in the WN story that she didn't know about problems with the machines. But the Trib story clearly mentions that some early voters claimed that votes they cast for Jennings showed up on the review screen as votes for Buchanan. In our interview, Dent acknowledged that the Herald Trib had told her about three voters who complained but she was skeptical of their claims because she considered them voting activists (implying that they might have reason to cast doubt on the machines). She says her staff did, however, check the machines anyway and found nothing wrong with them. I asked her why she wasn't more concerned about the early voters' complaints, given the August warning letter from ES&S about possible problems with the machines. She said she didn't think the complaints were related to the "slow response time" mentioned in the ES&S letter because she assumed, since the machines had worked fine in the September primary, that this wasn't a problem for her machines. So, ultimately, she dismissed the complaints of the early voters as something to worry about.

The result, of course, is that she's received a lot of criticism for not taking those early voting complaints more seriously and responding to them with the level of urgency that many people in Florida and elsewhere think was needed.

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