FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2004
Contact: Lale Mamaux
Wexler Outraged at State Senate Bill Denying Voters Their Right to Have a Manual Recount
Proposed Bill to Change Florida Recount Law is Unconstitutional
(Washington, D.C.) Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL) is dismayed that State Senator Anna Cowin, Chair of the Senate Ethics & Elections Committee, has introduced legislation to change Florida's manual recount law. According to Section 30 on Page 44 of the legislation (SB3004), "a manual recount may not be conducted of undervotes on touchscreen machines." This legislation will likely come up for a vote in the Senate Ethics & Elections Committee tomorrow.
"It is inconceivable to me that, after what happened in the 2000 Presidential election, Republicans in Tallahassee would have the audacity to introduce legislation, which denies voters in the 15 Florida counties with touchscreen voting machines the means to conduct a manual recount, while leaving 52 counties with a way to conduct one. This is blatantly unconstitutional, and Florida's voters should be outraged," Wexler said.
Beach County Commissioners Burt Aaronson and Addie Greene and Florida President of the Alliance for Retired Americans Tony Fransetta, under the precedent set by Bush vs. Gore in the 2000 presidential election. Wexler, aronson, Green and Fransetta cite that it is unconstitutional for 52 counties in Florida to have a means to conduct a manual recount, while the other 15 Florida counties with touchscreen voting machines have a paperless system that does not allow for a recount. On March 22, 2004, U.S. District Judge James Cohn granted an expedited trial schedule in Wexler's federal lawsuit.
Congressman Robert Wexler serves on the House Judiciary Committee and the House International Relations Committee.