Hillsborough elections office assures ballots are secure
TAMPA -- The legal counsel for the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections Office said today that there is no question about the integrity of the recount of about 80,000 early vote ballots that started today.
In an e-mail, the legal counsel, Kathy Harris, wrote about the precautions that were taken to prevent any tampering. The votes being counted now will determine the winner of the supervisor of elections race. Harris' boss, Buddy Johnson, was hanging on to a narrow 3,000 vote lead over his opponent, Phyllis Busansky.
"There is an electronic and paper record of every ballot and every vote from the printing of the paper ballot to the storage of the ballot. As a reminder, a voter scans the paper ballot and it drops in a locked ballot box; the computer scanner makes an electronic record and a paper tape record of the ballot and the votes; at the end of election night at each precinct, multiple copies of the paper tape is run for each machine's activities when the precinct closes; the ballot box and ballots are returned to the warehouse; the ballots are secured in a locked vault with a security code and tracking system for every entry and exit from the vault; vault is in a secure tabulation room in a secure warehouse."
Michael Van Sickler, Times staff writer