What’s Going On?

Technically Speaking/Political Commentary

By Perry Busby

      All eyes are on Florida as state and county election officials prepare to conduct two pivotal elections within ninety days, amid a coronavirus pandemic that continues to break records in the number of new cases and deaths. Since March, Floridians have witnessed a downward spiral in the state’s economy; the shuttering of its tourist industry—the primary driver for state employment and revenue totals; a haphazard, finger-pointing response to surging state unemployment totals; and lackluster leadership from a governor hellbent on pleasing his benefactor in Washington D.C., rather than residents, many of whom are voters.

Despite claims of allowing the data to lead, Governor Ron DeSycophant, has shown publicly, at least once, he is willing to disregard data if it does not comply with the messaging. In an attempt to support the Trump administration’s push to reopen, the governor fired Rebekah Jones, a top data scientist with Florida Department of Health, because she refused to manipulate the state’s COVID-19 numbers to support reopening messaging.

It appears the governor isn’t the only one willing to turn a blind eye when it comes to faulty results. Broward Supervisor of Elections, Peter Antonacci, is also on record for saying he is willing to accept faulty election results. In a video dating back several years, Antonacci argues in court, that inconsistent results should not get in the way of certifying an election. That inconsistencies should be accepted as part of the process. That certifying the results is the goal, not accuracy, and definitely not transparency.

When you cast your ballot, whether by mail or in-person, it will be scanned into an image. That scanned image becomes the official record of your vote. Not the paper ballot you submitted. The image is then read by a tabulator which calculates the results.

In a recent article, I wrote that as many as 39 Florida counties, including Broward, were not saving ballot images. This means there is no way to ensure your ballot was scanned successfully, if at all. I also mentioned that AUDIT Election USA, a non-partisan organization working to make elections more transparent and publicly verifiable, had filed a lawsuit to prevent Broward and other counties from deleting these files. The lawsuit is still working its way through the courts.

Last week, the Broward Canvassing Board held its Logic & Accuracy testing. The event was open to the candidates and the public. The L&A test is a set of testing procedures to certify the accuracy of voting machines prior to an election. Each machine must be configured according to the test options and produce the expected results in order to be certified. Once a machine is certified, you cannot change the configuration.

During a Question & Answer session with online viewers, someone asked Mr. Antonacci if the machines were saving the images. He assured the audience they were; however, during review of final test results, it was discovered that the option to save all ballot images was not enabled. When it was brought to Antonacci’s attention, he assured the audience images would be saved.

Unless the Canvassing Board convenes another L&A test before the start of early voting on Saturday, August 8th, no ballot images will be saved. To enable the options anyway means each machine would be in violation of its certification.

If you thought the news couldn’t get any worst, Antonacci has already announced ballot images will not be saved in the November election because the current storage capacity on the current USB drives they use will not be large enough to hold the number of expected images.

I don’t buy it. I’ll tell you about that later.

Should you be concerned about voting? Yes, but it hardly has anything to do with the reasons you’re being told.

Let me know what you think. Email me at perrybusby03@gmail.com. As always stay tuned to the Westside Gazette for more information about your vote.

About Carma Henry 20922 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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