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Delray Beach Mayor McDuffie challenges elections chief Bucher, cites county’s ‘blemished’ history

by George Bennett | March 22nd, 2012


Three days after an audit revealed that the Palm Beach County elections office declared the wrong winners in two Wellington council races, Delray Beach Mayor Woodie McDuffie filed papers today to challenge Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher.

McDuffie has been manager of information technology for the Palm Beach County property appraiser’s office for the past 15 years. He was elected to the Delray Beach city council in 2007, won the mayor’s job in 2009 and was reelected without opposition in 2011.


“Our citizens deserve to have confidence that our voting process is being safeguarded and properly managed. In addition, for too long Palm Beach County has had a blemished record of voting that has embarrassed the residents of our county and put us in a negative spotlight that hurts our county’s image, our economy and our integrity,” McDuffie said in an announcement statement.

The supervisor’s job is nonpartisan, but partisanship has played a big role in past races. Both McDuffie and Bucher are registered Democrats.

Bucher blamed a computer software glitch and not human error for the Wellington fiasco. Votes from March 13 were counted correctly, an audit showed, but the results were assigned to the wrong races. After the audit, the elections office said Wellington council candidates Shauna Hostetler and Al Paglia, who had been certified as winners to the state, had in fact lost their elections against John Greene and Matt Willhite, respectively.

Bucher, a former state House member, won the supervisor’s job in 2008 after former elections chief Arthur Anderson presided over a variety of elections controversies. Anderson won the job in 2004 by seizing on voter anger over former supervisor Theresa LePore‘s “butterfly ballot” and her support for paperless electronic voting.

If only two candidates run for elections supervisor, the election will be Nov. 6. But if three or more candidates — including write-ins — are running, the election will coincide with the Aug. 14 primary. If the election is Aug. 14 and no candidate gets more than 50 percent, the top two finishers would then run on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

McDuffie has hired consultant Rick Asnani‘s Cornerstone Solutions to handle his race.


21 Responses to “Delray Beach Mayor McDuffie challenges elections chief Bucher, cites county’s ‘blemished’ history”

  1. David Says:

    Go woodie. we need someone in their with competence.

  2. Janice Says:

    Bucher has been a complete nightmare at the elections office. Glad to see someone challenging her. After the last mess up in Wellington, Bucher needs to go.

  3. SheliaJoy Says:

    I just do not understand why an audit was conpleted AFTER certifying. The purpose of an audit is to catch mistakes. Why certify before finding out if there were mistakes.

    I have lost confidence in Palm Beach County’s Elections office. Obviously a person with an MIS background is needed for this job.

    On top of that the Election’s office is not keeping the public informed as to exactly what happened and why. Bucher’s office has not told the public how she is going to make sure this does nto happen in November.

    Bucher is begining to look as bad as the inept person she replaced.

  4. Go Rick Says:

    Bucher is a liberal democrat so she isn’t to blame and shouldn’t be expected to accept any personal responsibility for her inability to do the job at hand. Liberal democrats always have someone or something else to blame; like “the system” or “Rush Limbaugh” or “tax breaks for “the Rich”. Typical. She should have resigned yesterday.

  5. Just Axing Says:

    Lay off Bucher! It was Bush’s fault!!

  6. What's Not To Understand Says:

    @sheilajoy, you say you don’t understand why the audit was done after the results were certified. Bucher is in charge. What more do you need to know.

  7. LaQuishaNiqua Jones Says:

    Woodie authorized the low income housing on the corner of Germantown and Linton to get the minority vote in Delray. Too bad the market is so bad the developer cant afford to build 279 cracker boxes on the old Blood Groves land. Hes a loser like all politicians.

  8. Fred Says:

    Bucher certified it because of the law. You want to blame someone? Blame Bobby Wexler and Crist who paid for the flawed machines and have been screwing up elections here for years!

  9. Dem now Indy Says:

    Blame Bobby and Charlie! Their machines baby.

  10. W. Palm Democrats Says:

    DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Gov. Charlie Crist said Thursday he wants to spend about $32 million to convert all voting machines in Florida.

    Susan is not going anywhere Sorry Charlie and Bobby might. They only serve water and bread there.

  11. Romney--Rubio 2012 Says:

    Looks as if Bucher is testing the system to “Deliver the Vote” for her union masters on November 6th….Only 229 days to go

  12. observing the passing parade Says:

    it will be interesting to hear what McDuffie, a former IT manager in a complex data intensive gov job, has to say about Bucher blaming the software……as posted before, if the software was at fault, ALL of the results would have suffered the same ereor, sice all the ballots were run on the same software

    defies logic and common sense

  13. ItIsWhatItIs Says:

    Good luck, Woody. Beware though that Susan is a very, very shrewd politician. This is her livelihood and she won’t be as easy to defeat as you think… even after this Wellington screw up.


    @Romney–Rubio 2012,

    Pretty hilarious.

    You DO realize that the majority of election fraud has been by Republicans. Just a quick google search of recent convictions, most involve Republicans.

    The Secretary of State of Indiana (the guy responsible for elections state-wide) was convicted on 6 counts of voter fraud.

    Also, the campaign manager for the former Republican governor of MD was convicted on 4 counts of trying to suppress African-American votes in 2010.

    So… don’t throw stones if you live in a glass house.

    The GOP is as CORRUPT as it gets, through and through.

    From Wall Street CEOs and insane multi-billionaire oil heirs the Koch Brothers, on down to the astroturf Tea Party.

    The Republican Party is nothing more than one big gigantic FRAUD on the American people.

  15. Simon Says:

    If Bucher can magically change election results 1 week after the vote, then getting the computer to say she wins re-election should be no big deal. Seriously a random computer glitch has made me lose all faith in the integrity of our system.

  16. AKA RETARD Says:

    McDuffie doesn’t really need to challenge Bucher….. She’s already “challenged”

  17. Actually the system worked despite of flawed logic Says:

    By Law the Audit takes place after the election is certified.

    The audit is a hand count of the votes in one precinct. Without a paper trail this error would not have been found.

    The election law is flawed because the audit should take place prior to certification of the results or the law should incorporate a procedure to follow when an audit turns up something wrong.

    The software of all of the elections software in the united states is proprietary. Hence it is a black box, that we are not allowed to see.

    Susan did an amazing job and has the most integrity of any of our County Elected officials.

  18. New D. Says:

    Its so funny how some are writing about the election when the company even took blame. Yes the company that Wexler and Crist brought in 2007 before the election. Wake up Ds (the scum is screwing you ) while the Rs are trying to also make it harder for you to vote.

  19. ReadTheLaw Says:

    The law – written by our legislature states that certification takes place BEFORE and audit.

    We need to tell the legislature to fix the law!

  20. Frank Says:

    Boy, do most of you commenters look goofy now that Dominion Voting Services has admitted the Wellington problems were due a sotware problem. What do you say – why don’t you all apoloigize to Ms. Bucher for your quick to condemn pronouncements.

  21. business Says:

    Hi there I so liked reading your blog. I’m thinking about writing my own blog next week Thanks.

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