According to Bob Poe, state chairman for the Florida Democratic Party, Democrats had received reports of an instance in which a preliminary voting count Wednesday morning for Gore in Volusia County, reported by Florida election officials, actually decreased by about 10,000 over time, before climbing again.
“Now that might have been a typo, who knows,” he told ABCNEWS.com. “Stranger things have happened in Volusia County.”
The alleged decrease may also have been detected by Miles Gibson, a PhD candidate and instructor at the University of Virginia, who says he recorded 2,716,995 votes for Gore in Florida at 2:06 a.m. Wednesday morning and then 2,707,798 votes — 9,000 fewer — for Gore at around 2:15 a.m., nine minutes later, while following a national newscast.
“I can’t certify these numbers, but I was paying extremely careful attention,” Gibson said.
ABCNEWS reported the same figures. At around 2:04 A.M., the network gave Gore 2,716,995 votes in Florida. About ten minutes laters, the network said Gore had 2,707,798.
ABCNEWS drew its data from Voter News Service, a consortium created by the networks to share raw polling data.
A Volusia county court judge said Wednesday there is nothing to indicate Volusia’s unofficial vote count is flawed or that appropriate procedures were not followed.
The county’s Canvassing Board was to meet Wednesday to discuss the matter, and a judge directed that three members representing the Democratic and Republican parties be present. State election officials could not be reached for comment.
Judge Michael McDermott also ordered Volusia’s election office secured and all ballots were locked in the office vault.
“We will doing everything it takes to make sure the public has full confidence in the ballot count here,” McDermott said.
“We’re hearing all sorts of things. Right now we’re trying to sift through what’s true and, you know, this is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen,” said Poe.
GOP Investigating Reports
Republican National Committee spokesman Tom Yu said Tuesday that party officials were aware of the reports of voter tampering and irregularities and that they were investigating.
“I’ve heard rumors but I can’t confirm any of those rumors yet and I think at this point our people are looking into those rumors and trying to track down if they are true,” Yu said.
In response to the reports of voter confusion at Palm Beach, Yu said voters should pay the close attention when they’re voting and report any irregularities to the polling place and to their local officials. But he also warned against jumping to any conclusions about rumored voting irregularities.
“We’re investigating the irregularities and if those irregularities do exist then, let’s find the source and try to rectify them,” he said. “At this point I think it’s an investigation that we don’t want to raise any undue excitement that isn’t warranted. We are looking into any of these irregularities and if they do prove to exist, the proper action will be taken.”
Voting Issues Elsewhere
Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Jenny Backus said Tuesday that some New York voters were turned away from some polling places, discouraged from voting altogether, and possibly confused into voting unintentionally for a candidate they didn’t really want.
However, given the large victory margins for Democrats in New York, it is unlikely that any alleged tampering had any impact on the races.