There are many reports in the media regarding apparent problems in Sarasota County’s 13th Congressional race, here’s one example from the Herald Tribune.
If you look at the current report of results from Sarasota County’s election results website, you can see the magnitude of the problem.
My preliminary analysis of the data shows the following (this is preliminary and quick, and I suspect the numbers might change on us).
In the 13th Congressional race, they are reporting 18,382 undervotes (and 1 overvote), of 142,284 total ballots cast. That is an undervote rate of 12.92%, which is pretty darn high.
If you look further into the data, you’ll see the following:
- Election day: 12,378 undervotes of 88,927 total election day ballots cast (13.92% undervote rate).
- Early voting: 5,433 undervotes of 30,832 total early votes cast (17.62% undervote rate).
- Absentee: 571 undervotes (and the one overvote!) of 22,525 total absentee ballots cast (2.53% undervote rate).
But compare to the Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s race:
- Election day: 1,249 undervotes of 88,927 total election day ballots cast (1.40% undervote rate).
- Early voting: 416 undervotes of 30,832 total early votes cast (1.35% undervote rate).
- Absentee: 156 undervotes (and 15 overvotes) of 22,525 total absentee ballots cast (0.69% undervote rate).
My understanding is that Sarasota used a touchscreen voting system for election day and early voting, but optical scan for their absentee voters.
And in neighboring Manatee County, which also had the CD 13 race, they are now reporting 2,312 blank ballots in this same race, of 96,705 votes cast (2.39% undervote rate). My understanding is that Manatee County used a optical scan system.
One suspect here is poor ballot design on the touchscreen voting system used in Sarasota County. MIT’s Ted Selker emailed me this screenshot of the touchscreen for this race; note that the CD 13 race is jammed up at the top of the screen, and might simply have been overlooked by many voters. I have no idea whether all voters in Sarasota saw this same screen. Another issue here, which you can see in