Published September 15, 2002
MIAMI – Election workers in Janet Reno's stronghold of Broward County have found uncounted votes from last week's primary, though officials didn't say how many.
The votes were found Saturday in a precinct that first reported no votes, said Willie Weslie, project manager with Election Systems & Software Inc., which made the touchscreen voting machines used in the county.
That precinct, with 832 registered voters, was among 247 that Reno has asked officials to review in her battle with Bill McBride for the Democratic nomination.
"I don't know what happened in every case. I just know poll workers had procedures and didn't follow them," said Weslie.
Weslie said poll workers in the precinct should have inserted a cartridge in the machines, which would have collected the votes when polls closed. But they did not, he said, so the empty cartridge made it appear that no votes were cast.
Workers examined touchscreen voting machines until shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday, and were expected to continue Sunday. The deadline for counties to report official vote tallies to the state is 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Election Supervisor Miriam Oliphant's office would not discuss the uncounted votes.
"Once the process is complete, the supervisor of elections will have a statement with respect to that and every other issue her office feels is necessary to assure the voters of Broward County that every vote will be counted," said spokesman Rick Riley.
Reno trailed McBride by 8,196 votes in unofficial counts from the state. The 247 precincts she asked to be reviewed have 15,841 voters.
Reno has also asked Miami-Dade County officials to check for lost votes. Officials there found more than 1,800 uncounted votes from four precincts Thursday, and were reviewing touchscreen voting machines to determine if more were unreported.
Miami and Broward counties used the same touchscreen machines made by Election Systems & Software.