Recount Begins in Sarasota-Area Congressional Race

Sarasota Recount
SARASOTA -

DENT: I am assuming that we're going to only be doing Congressional District 13. So looking at Precinct 110, Vern Buchanan 113 votes, Christine Jennings, 198 votes, undervotes - 52...

Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent is holding sway this week in a cavernous warehouse off Fruitville Road. She's in charge of a recount of all the votes cast in last week's race for Congress.

Next, hundreds of elections employees will investigate reports of 'undervotes' - people who voted for looking over every ballot where people voted for races such as for Senate - but DIDN'T vote for Congress. That includes about one out of every nine voters.

One of the observers of the recount is Kathy Vermazen, spokeswoman for Democratic candidate Christine Jennings.

VERMAZEN: I think a lot of folks are concerned that in the end, they don't know if their vote counted. I think that's what I heard more than anything - what if my vote didn't count. And that's a very disconcerting thing for people.

Kimdra Muntz is with the Sarasota Alliance For Fair Elections. The group got an amendment on Sarasota County ballots, mandating that beginning next year, each voting maching should have a verifiable paper trail. Muntz was in the cavernous Sarasota County supervisor of elections office, where she complained about some of the procedures.

MUNTZ: The public was not alllowed to look at the machine when the seals were being broken and the numbers from the seals were read... What we really need to see is the seal number is the one that matches from election night.

Both Democrat Jennings and Republican candidate Vern Buchanan are sitting in on orientation sessions for new Congressmen in Washington, D.C.

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