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After two days of uncertainty, Bucher appears ready to approve Romney campaign poll watchers

by George Bennett | October 25th, 2012

After more than two days of uncertainty that put Mitt Romney‘s campaign legal team on high alert, it appears that Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher will accept the Romney camp’s designation of 487 poll watchers to monitor voting at county precincts during the Nov. 6 election.

Bucher did not initially accept the Romney poll worker designation forms on Tuesday because they were submitted as an attachment to an e-mail rather than in hard copies. The Romney camp said Bucher also would not accept hard copies signed by an authorized representative of Romney.

The elections chief requested an opinion from Daniel Nordby, the general counsel to the Florida Department of State, on whether forms with an electronic signature were acceptable.

Nordby said in an e-mail Wednesday that the no law prohibits electronic signatures on the poll watcher forms and therefore “such a form is valid and has full force and effect.”

Bucher told The Post‘s Jane Musgrave tonight that she hasn’t seen Nordby’s e-mail yet, but that she’s fine with the electronic submissions if the general counsel is OK with them.

Bucher said she hasn’t seen her e-mails this week because she has been away from her main office at the elections tabulating center in Riviera Beach, where her office has hired temporary workers to copy thousands of absentee ballots that can’t be read by scanners because of a printing mistake.

The Romney campaign submitted its poll worker designation forms Tuesday. With no official word from Bucher on whether they would be accepted or rejected, the Romney campaign’s counsel for Florida, Raquel Rodriguez, sent Bucher a letter today threatening “all appropriate actions in response to any rejection of, or failure to accept as timely filed, the tendered Poll Watcher Designation Forms. And because the election is nearing, it is incumbent upon you to let us know in timely fashion if you will accept or reject the above-described Poll Watcher Designation Forms.”

Rodriguez’s letter says no other Florida county has refused to accept the electronic forms.

Given the history in Florida and Palm Beach County of close and disputed elections, both the Obama and Romney campaigns are expected to deploy hundreds of poll watchers across the county on election day.

Florida law allows parties and candidates to designate a watcher for each voting site to observe voters and elections officials and to “pose any questions regarding polling place procedures directly to the clerk for resolution.”

Gerald Richman, a West Palm Beach attorney acting as counsel for President Obama‘s campaign in Palm Beach County, said poll watchers play a “very important” role in flagging everything from voting machine problems to voting sites not opening on time to claims of voter intimidation.

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11 Responses to “After two days of uncertainty, Bucher appears ready to approve Romney campaign poll watchers”

  1. OBIWAN Says:

    Butcher said once they finally agreed to not carry nightsticks and to not wear swastika arm bands she had no problem with them!!

  2. Mike Says:

    Bucher is an embarrassment. How does she not know that electronic signatures are valid in the State of Florida? Wasn’t she a legislator at one point.

  3. Darlene Says:

    How could she not be reading her emails; as SOE and two weeks before election day she should be looking at emails constnatly= bogus excuse that she hasn’t seen her emails? she has a smart phone/blackberryAND they have email access and computers at the Riviera Beach location! more lies and deceit. AND wHen will taxpayers demand answers to why she had to reprint Absentee ballots two times due to her mistakes. ANd now they have to spend money on workers copying ballots so they can be read by scanners. how many mistakes will be made because of human error?? I am amazed people in Palm Beach County put up with this insanity!!

  4. Dick Hertz Says:

    Susan…leave now, just like every PBC Official, from NY or NJ…Corrupt!

  5. Election Commissar Says:

    Obama’s puppet-master George Soros: “If you can’t win an election – buy it…”

  6. joe Says:

    Officials should employ more police at every polling station. Right wing racist Republics will stop at nothing to discourage minorities from voting. Look who will be monitoring for the RNC, young angry white men. The police should bear the burden of ensuring that our democratic process moves smoothly forward.

  7. The Truth Hurts Says:

    THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!! GOP GOONS AT EVERY POLLING PLACE?? I HOPE THEY TRY TO INTIMIDATE ME-THEY CAN “SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND”

  8. LeBrit Says:

    Isn’t it amazing how many problems arise in the Supervisor of Elections Office for Palm Beach County at EACH AND EVERY ELECTION…!

    When is the County going to appoint someone with a proven and consistent good track record in the supervision of elections. SOE’s with an ‘armful’ of academic qualifications are theorists; good at pontificating and spending millions of dollars. We need practical, tried and tested experience not political reward appointments. Taxpayers have had enough of this inefficiency and wastage.

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