Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough elections chief demands study retraction

Elections chief Craig Latimer says faulty data were used.

Elections chief Craig Latimer says faulty data were used.

TAMPA — Hillsborough County's elections chief is demanding a correction to a study of the 2012 presidential election that found none of his polling places closed on time.

Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer said the national racial justice group Advancement Project used faulty data to conclude that Hillsborough precincts closed an average of 72 minutes late.

"That simply is not true," Latimer said.

The report prepared by the group was submitted last month to the bi-partisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration, which was looking into reports of long waits to cast ballots during the last election.

The group relied on data recorded when voting results from each precinct were transmitted to the supervisor's central tabulation center. A more valid ending time, while still problematic, would have been when his poll workers shut down machines and spit out reports from them, Latimer said.

And even that doesn't necessarily reflect when the last person voted, he said.

Still, by that measurement, Latimer said, 65 percent of his 347 precincts closed within 30 minutes and nearly 85 percent closed within 45 minutes.

A representative of Advancement Project said it will be happy to look at the records to which Latimer is referring and will amend its report if necessary.

But she says her group stands by the point of the study, which found that precincts with concentrations of minorities and young people tended to close later than those with more white people.

The study's authors, two university professors, used closing times as a "proxy" for how long people had to wait in lines after polls shut down at 7 p.m. The challenge is that elections supervisors aren't required to track wait times and report closing times differently from county to county.

"We're very, very happy to receive the other data," said Katherine Culliton-González, senior attorney and director of the voter protection program for Advancement Project. "We do stand by the conclusion that some people in some precincts waited longer than others. The disparity is going to be the same."

She said Latimer's office never responded to a public records request, so the researchers relied on information gathered by the Orlando Sentinel newspaper for a project it did on the 2012 election.

Latimer said he was not aware of a records request from the rights group researchers or the newspaper.

But he said there's no way the group can draw conclusions about disparities in wait times for voters of different races or ethnicities. The data the group used reflected the time after which precinct workers accepted the final vote, printed out reports from vote counting machines, transported the results by vehicle to regional collection centers and then transmitted them to his central vote-counting office in Brandon.

"I don't know how you can make a determination of which precincts had lines when their information is inaccurate," Latimer said.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Bill Varian can be reached at varian@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3387.

Hillsborough elections chief demands study retraction 07/11/13 [Last modified: Thursday, July 11, 2013 11:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  2. Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band dies at age 69

    Music & Concerts

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday, a publicist said. He was 69.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)
  3. Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, a former senator, dies at 85

    Ml

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jim Bunning, a former Hall of Fame pitcher who went on to serve in Congress, has died. He was 85.

    In this June 21, 1964 file photo, Jim Bunning of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches a perfect game against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium in New York.  The Phillies beat the Mets, 6-0.  Bunning retired all 27 batters who faced him in the first game of a doubleheader to become the first pitcher in 42 years with a perfect game in regular season play.   (AP Photo/File)
  4. Trump to decide next week whether to quit Paris climate agreement

    Environment

    TAORMINA, Italy —President Donald Trump declined to endorse the Paris climate accords on Saturday, saying he would decide in the coming days whether the United States would pull out of the 195-nation agreement.

    President Donald Trump, right, arrives to a G7 session with outreach countries in Taormina, Italy, on Saturday. Climate and trade were sticking points at the two-day summit in Taormina, Sicily. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)
  5. Gregg Allman, iconic Southern rocker from Florida's Allman Brothers Band, dies at 69

    Blogs

    The end can come quickly for those who live fast and live hard, who create worlds with their talent and sometimes come close to throwing them away.