State Investigating Palm Beach County Voting Fiasco

By: Jim Turner | Posted: March 20, 2012 11:00 AM
Susan Bucher

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher | Credit: Meredith Hall - myfloridahouse.gov

Investigators from the secretary of state’s office are in Palm Beach County trying to determine how an error in the county’s electronic-tabulating software resulted in the wrong results in two races.

“Until I hear back from my people, we’re not going to make any conclusions or any ideas of what happened,” Secretary of State Ken Detzner said Tuesday.

With the 2012 elections on the horizon, Detzner said members of his office are working with local elections officials and makers of the hardware and software.

“Any time there is irregularity in an election it would cause some concern,” said Detzner.

He added that 15 other municipal elections in the county on March 13 had no errors.

In two of the three Wellington races on March 13, the incorrect winners were tabulated, with the local canvassing board certifying the results three days later.

If the new results are correct, Matt Willhite beat Al Paglia, not vice-versa, and John Greene beat Shauna Hostetler. Also, Bob Margolis barely hung on for a victory over incumbent Mayor Darell Bowen. The previous figures showed him winning by a landslide.

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher has blamed the computer system for reorganizing the order of the races where the errors took place.

Palm Beach County, ground zero for the 2000 election debacle in Florida that pushed the state to require electronic tabulating machines, contracts its voting and tabulating equipment from Dominion Voting Systems, which also supplies Indian River and Duval counties.

Detzner said he’s confident, based on the recent Republican presidential preference primary, that the state system works.

“I’m confident we have good systems, the supervisors are doing their job, and I’m confident this may be a very isolated situation and we’ll take the corrective action,” Detzner said.

He declined to say whether the "corrective action" could include action against Bucher.

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

Comments (2)

7:22AM MAR 21ST 2012
Secretary Detzner has walked into a mess, and I truly hope that no "funny business" has occurred in this particular situation. First the corruption report last month that showed Blagojevich’s own Illinois (and Chicago) leading the pack, and Florida trailing not far behind, then the State Integrity report...now election issues. I’m sure Florida and the previous month’s other “winners” are glad to have not taken the S.I. report crown. But seriously, I truly hope these reports lead to much needed change. If the public takes these findings seriously and subsequently starts demanding that our leaders be held accountable then I’m sure some long-lasting improvements may result from the harsh truths revealed by the data presented in these reports. The corruption, lack of integrity, and lack of accountability is both sad and endemic. But I digress. On an election-related note, another jurisdiction in Florida is now inadvertently setting itself up for an election fiasco that involves a corrupt judge who has several co-conspirators. You can’t make this stuff up...unfortunately it's 100% true and corroborated by two reports and extensive irrefutable evidence that is in the possession of agencies, including those within Florida's 8th Judicial Circuit (and Chief Judge Martha Lott and Chief Investigator Spencer Mann). The judge, and former prosecutor, at the heart of the issue is David P. Kreider. Take a look at


for more information. A final note regarding Florida's corruption and integrity issues -- I say prison sentences for all those who think they are above the law, especially public servants whom we should be able to trust. Then and only then will the governmental paradigm undergo the shift that is so dearly needed. Unfortunately the lack of ethics, lack of honor, and lack of concern for one’s fellow man has infected governments worldwide on both an institutional and cultural level. Anyway, good luck resolving the election issues.

*Be sure to replace "-dot-" with "." in order to make the above url work.
Robert Lloyd
3:14PM MAR 20TH 2012
>>“I’m confident we have good systems,<<

Unbelievable that we don't hand count and we allowed this computer system of (mis)counting. Elections are too important to be put into the hands of people we don't know and a computer system we don't comprehend or even can.

This was a solution to a nonexistent problem. But no one wants to be accused of being in the dark ages so no one will step up and say the Emperor Has No Clothes.

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