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Palm Beach Co. vote counting machines only recount 1 race at a time, new machines coming next year

Posted at 5:02 PM, Nov 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-13 05:08:40-05

When it comes to voter security, Palm Beach County has $900,000 worth of grants for upgraded iPads and security software to protect files. But, the technology in the spotlight today is equipment that can only recount one race at a time. 

"The machines are old but they are certified by the state of Florida and it’s irresponsible for the state to have a deadline that is unreasonable while they certified that machine equipment," said Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher.

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The state's deadline asks that four races be recounted by Thursday. Bucher said the machines Palm Beach County has were already purchased before she took over in 2007. 

"When they buy equipment you just can’t keep using public funds to keep buying equipment," said attorney David Shiner, counsel for the Republican Party of Palm Beach County. 

Shiner said other counties may be able to meet the state's deadline because they're smaller. Palm Beach County Commissioner Steven Abrams agrees. 

"Ultimately, this could also be resolved by the legislature adjusting the deadlines, especially for the larger counties," said Abrams. 

New machines that can do multiple recounts are coming in the near future, but not soon enough. 

"We have in our budget currently to update our equipment just right after this election; need to pass a little piece of legislation and we’re hopeful that we’ll purchase that equipment in March," added Bucher. 

Shiner also mentioned another downside to recounting one race at a time. Every time ballots are put through a machine they are worn down and can be rejected by the machine if they are passed through too many times.