Lawyers question the counting of flawed Palm Beach County absentee ballots

Attorneys for both presidential campaigns in PBC

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - There are new questions about how thousands of Palm Beach County absentee ballots printed in error will be counted. On Wednesday, lawyers for both presidential candidates were in the county, scrutinizing the process.  Elections officials tested the accuracy of their vote-counting machines.

Attorney Sean Domnick, on behalf of President Barack Obama's campaign, and attorney Raquel Rodriguez, for Governor Mitt Romney's camp, were also aiming to find out how an estimated 27,000 absentee ballots printed in error would be duplicated and then counted accurately.

"It's not hard to anticipate that there's going to be some legal counsel representatives probably at every turn that we go this election cycle," said Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher, who reassures the public - and the lawyers - that every vote will be counted.  "I haven't been here very long and no, we haven't duplicated this volume but the law does anticipate that we duplicate ballots and there's a provision in the law that allows us to do that," she said.

Bucher says the successful recount in Wellington's village council race in March shows that her team can handle this new challenge. She says she is striving for full transparency, as the thousands of ballots are analyzed, duplicated and eventually tabulated.

"If you are an observer, you sit in a chair. You don't get to bring a cell phone, a pen, no bag, no nothing. You don't touch the people. You don't touch the ballots," she said. "It's very strict process. We know how to handle it. We've done it before and it will go fine," said Bucher.

There are 101 variations of ballots in Palm Beach County in the general election.  Bucher says all were sent through the machines Wednesday.  The accuracy of those machines was at 100 percent. The processing of those absentee ballots printed in error begins Monday morning.

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