Florida 13 Likely to Go to the House

The Washington Post noted that the 13th Congressional District race is going to be taken up by the incoming House of Representatives.

A battle over who won the congressional election in Florida’s 13th District is in the courts and could be debated in Congress itself. Christine Jennings, the Democrat, informed Congress last week that she was contesting the election, claiming that electronic voting machines malfunctioned and that state officials wrongly certified the election in favor of Republican Vern Buchanan. She also filed a lawsuit asking for access to the source code of the machines, manufactured by Election Systems & Software Inc.

Two weeks after the Nov. 7 election, the state certified Buchanan as the winner by 369 votes. Jennings wants a new vote. If she prevails, the Democratic gains in the midterm elections will increase to 31 House seats. On Election Day, 18,000 Sarasota County voters who went to the polls registered no choice in the congressional race. Jennings argued that that was evidence of a machine glitch, but the state indicated that it found no evidence of one. ES&S also rejected her argument, and Buchanan said she should concede. On Wednesday, Jennings officially contested the election with the House Administration Committee, which usually does not take any action until an election dispute moves through the courts. Buchanan has 30 days to respond. He is likely to be sworn in next week. Jennings’s challenge, which has highlighted long-standing concerns this year about the reliability of electronic voting technology, faces long odds against success. According to a report by the Congressional Research Service, most of the 105 contested elections since 1933 have been decided against the challenger. ES&S has opposed sharing its programming code, saying that it is confidential and that its machines elsewhere worked just fine.