"When I first decided to run, it was because I thought I could make a difference. And since November, I have done so," Jennings told supporters today.
As we have reported since last November, Jennings narrowly lost to Republican Vern Buchanan – officially by 369 votes after a recount -- and challenged the results because 18,000 ballots in the paperless ES&S iVotronic touch-screen machines registered no House race votes in Sarasota County, where she won 53%. The Jennings-Buchanan undervote in Sarasota was many times higher than the undervote in the House district's four adjacent counties.
"We have an obligation to future generations to leave our country in better shape than when we inherited it," Jennings said in launching her second bid. "Restoring confidence in elections is an important step, but only the first."
Jennings' lawsuit contesting the election hit a roadblock when Florida courts rejected her campaign's request to crack open the machines and study ES&S' programming code. So she appealed to the House of Representatives, which tapped the Government Accountability Office to investigate. The GAO is due to report preliminary findings at the end of the month.
No matter how the GAO report or House probe turns out, next year Jennings won't have to worry about electronic voting machines. Following her contested race, new Florida Governor Charlie Crist ordered that all Florida elections use machines that generate a paper trail – or paper ballots themselves.