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Broward County finds lost votes; results unchanged

Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE — In yet another Florida election blunder, officials in Broward County misplaced more than 100,000 ballots cast in this week’s election.

Officials said the amended totals did not change the result of any races.

The county elections office discovered 103,222 votes Wednesday that had not been counted — although officials had said 100 percent of the precincts were included in Tuesday night’s results.

“It’s another screw-up, and I’m not satisfied this is correct,” Broward Republican leader George Lemieux said.

Two years ago, dimpled and hanging chads in Broward’s punchcard ballots helped hold up the presidential election of George W. Bush for five weeks. More problems cropped up earlier this year, when difficulties with Florida’s expensive new voting machines delayed results from the Democratic gubernatorial primary for a week.

After the primary, Broward spent at least $2.5 million to make things right.

Broward deputy elections supervisor Joe Cotter called Tuesday’s mistake “a minor software thing.”

“Once we realized it, we took the proper steps to fix it,” he said.

The missing ballots helped explain why Broward’s original numbers showed that just 34.5 percent of the county’s registered voters went to the polls. Wednesday’s revised numbers said that 441,198 Broward residents actually voted, or 45.1 percent.

Statewide, 53 percent of all voters went to the polls Tuesday.