Candidate in disputed '06 House race to run again

Christine Jennings pointed to e-voting problems for her narrow loss in Fla.

The eight months-long saga involving a disputed congressional election that was marred by alleged e-voting irregularities in Florida has taken another twist, with the losing candidate announcing today that she will run against her opponent in 2008.

Democrat Christine Jennings, whose bid for the U.S. House seat from Florida's 13th District fell short by a mere 369 votes, has sued to get the election overturned because of an 18,000-vote undercount. She has claimed the undervote was caused by a technical malfunction with the Sarasota County iVotronic touch-screen systems made by Elections Systems & Software.

Courts so far have blocked access to the necessary source code for an examination that might help explain the undervote. Her legal efforts are now on hold until the U.S. Government Accountability Office finishes an investigation into the undervote; a preliminary report from the GAO is due out by month's end.

However, Jennings isn't waiting on the courts or the GAO to resolve the e-voting issue. Today in Sarasota, she announced to a crowd of supporters that she would run again for the seat, now held by Republican Vern Buchanan. "Regardless of the outcome of the ongoing GAO investigation, I will fight every day for the privilege of being the people's representative for District 13," she said, according to a transcript of her speech provided to Computerworld.

She also pointed to some success "in our fight for fair and accurate elections" in both Sarasota County and Florida. The irregularities in the House race in part prompted Republican Gov. Charley Crist to sponsor legislation that eliminates the use of touch-screen voting systems in the state. "Restoring confidence in our elections is an important step, but only the first," she said.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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