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Senior Judiciary Committee Democrats send follow up letter to GAO for Investigation of Voting Irregularities

November 8, 2004

The Honorable David M. Walker
Comptroller General of the United States
U.S. General Accountability Office
441 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20548

Dear Mr. Walker:

We write to follow-up on our urgent November 5 request that the Government Accountability Office immediately undertake an investigation of the efficacy of voting machines and new technologies used in the 2004 election, how election officials responded to difficulties they encountered and what we can do in the future to improve our election systems and administration.

In that letter, we indicated we would follow up with additional information as it becomes available. To that end, we would also request that you review and evaluate the following:

More than 30,000 complaints have been noted on one website: We request that you evaluate a sampling of these incidents.

Enclosed are more than 265 specific complaints. These can also be found at: These include the following:

In Sarper County, Nebraska, a computer problem doubled the votes in half the county's precincts, adding 3000 phantom votes to the totals.

In Guilford County, North Carolina vote totals were so large that the tabulation computer threw numbers away. Retallying changed two outcomes and awarded an additional 22,000 to John Kerry.

In Broward County, Florida at least 21 voting machines malfunctioned and were replaced. Most of them had already been used by voters.

Citing concerns about potential terrorism, Warren County, Ohio officials locked down the county administration building on election night and blocked anyone from observing the vote count. Warren County was apparently the only one of 88 counties to opt for such measures. This move may also violate Ohio law. "Warren's Vote Tally Walled Off," Erica Solvig, Cincinnati Enquirer, November 5, 2004.

Our offices continue to receive additional reports of election irregularities, including the following:

In Palm Beach County, Florida results for a County Commissioner race was plagued by malfunctioning voting machine cassettes in several precincts, including 03112 and 03116. While this race remained to close to call, elections officials announced the race for the incumbent with a margin of 580 votes.

Poll workers in Broward County, Florida expressed concern that boxes of absentee ballots remained uncounted in the central storage facilities and were promptly escorted out of the Supervisor's office by security after raising that concern.

In addition, the additional Members listed below, Congressman Scott, Congressman Watt and Congressman Holt, request to sign on to our November 5 request.

We continue to receive additional reports every minute and will transmit additional information as it comes available. There is substantial concern that much of the primary evidence needed to evaluate these allegations will not be preserved without immediate action. We would greatly appreciate any steps you could take to ensure the preservation of this important information.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this inquiry.


John Conyers, Jr.
Ranking Member
House Judiciary Committee

Jerrold Nadler
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on the Constitution

Robert Wexler
Member of Congress

Robert C. Scott
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security

Melvin Watt
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law

Rush Holt
Member of Congress

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