Election Law @ Moritz

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Edward B. Foley
Free & Fair is a collection of writings by Edward B. Foley, one of the nation's preeminent experts on election law.

Information and Analysis

FL-13: Source Code Kept Secret; Buchanan to Take Seat

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January 2, 2007

On Friday, Leon County’s Judge William L. Gary issued an order denying Democratic candidate Christine Jennings access to the source code for the electronic voting equipment used in November’s election. The order states that, beyond “speculation and conjecture,” Jennings failed to present any evidence of a problem with the code. For this reason, the court refused to “gut” the protections afforded to the code as a trade secret.

It was announced after the ruling that an appeal would be filed.

While litigation continues, it was also reported that Vern Buchanan, Jennings’ opponent, would take his seat in Congress later this week. However, Democrat Rush Holt, a Representative from New Jersey, stated there is still evidence supporting a revote and that Buchanan’s position may only be temporary. It has been reported that Representative Holt will make a motion on the House floor to ensure that Buchanan’s seating has no effect on the continued investigation into the Florida election. Christine Jennings has consented to the seating of Buchanan, but has refused to concede or end her pursuit of a new election.