Delray Beach Mayor McDuffie challenges elections chief Bucher, cites county’s ‘blemished’ historyby George Bennett | March 22nd, 2012
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.
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