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Archive for the ‘Susan Bucher’ Category

Clemens files automatic voter registration bill

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013 by Dara Kam

Freshman Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, filed a bill that would make the state responsible for registering eligible voters instead of leaving the onus on voters themselves.

Clemens’s proposal (SB 234) is one of a slew of bills filed by Democrats in the aftermath of the 2012 presidential election where some voters, including some in Clemens’s home county of Palm Beach, waited in line up to eight hours to cast their ballots during early voting.

His proposal would require the state to automatically register eligible U.S. citizens when they reach age 18 using Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles driver’s license data.

“The original purpose of the voter registration system was to disenfranchise women and African-Americans,” Clemens said in a press release. “It’s time we ditched the archaic scheme and realize that every adult American citizen should be automatically registered. There simply is no good reason to make people jump through hoops.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez, the country’s leading civil rights prosecutor, also wants the country to join the majority of other democratic nations regarding voting by making the government – instead of the voter – responsible for signing up voters.

Clemens’s proposal gives adults the ability to opt out of getting registered, a twist on the current “Motor Voter” law that requires DHSMV workers to ask those applying for a driver’s license or state ID if they want to register to vote.

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

Thursday, October 25th, 2012 by George Bennett

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.


Justice Department demand voter purge data from 9 counties, including Palm Beach, in lawsuit against Scott

Thursday, August 9th, 2012 by Dara Kam

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher was among nine county elections supervisors subpoenaed by the U.S. Department of Justice as part of its lawsuit against Gov. Rick Scott’s administration over his non-U.S. citizen voter purge.

The demand for documents and other information is part of the discovery process in the lawsuit, scheduled to drag on past the Nov. 6 general election and into next year. The subpoenas went out to supervisors in Bay, Broward, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Miami Dade, Orange, Palm Beach, and Pinellas counties.

It’s unclear why Bucher, who she said received the subpoena on July 31, was included in the dragnet. She never did anything with the list of 115 Palm Beach County voters flagged as potential non-citizens by Secretary of State Ken Detzner’s office in March.

But the Justice Department lawyers demanded all documents or information related to the voter purge, dreamed up by Scott and launched by Detzner this spring. Detzner’s office sent out a list of about 2,600 potential non-citizens to the state’s 67 supervisors of elections, instructing the local officials to send letters to the flagged voters and ask them to prove they are citizens. Bucher and many other supervisors balked after some elections officials found the lists included the names of voters who had become naturalized citizens or were even born in the U.S. In one highly publicized case, a Broward County World War II Bronze Medal hero was identified as potentially being ineligible to vote.

Bucher is sending a letter to the DOJ telling them she didn’t participate in the voter purge and is handing over a copy of the disk containing the list of 115 Palm Beach County voters provided to her by Detzner, she said. The DOJ asked the supervisors to give them the information by Aug. 15, the day after Florida’s primary on Tuesday.


BIZPAC: Dump Bucher, keep Nikolits and Bock

Friday, May 11th, 2012 by George Bennett

Palm Beach County’s Business Political Action Committee has endorsed Delray Beach Mayor Woodie McDuffie for elections supervisor over incumbent Susan Bucher while supporting two other countywide elected officials who face challenges: Property Appraiser Gary Nikolits and Clerk ‘n’ Comptroller Sharon Bock.

BIZPAC tends to favor Republicans in contested partisan races, but the group endorsed state Rep. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington, for a new west-county Senate seat over Republicans Melanie Peterson and Geoff Sommers.

Read BIZPAC Chairman John R. Smith‘s discussion of the group’s endorsements here.

Vendor: software ‘shortcoming’ led to Wellington election fiasco

Friday, March 23rd, 2012 by George Bennett

The supplier of Palm Beach County’s voting and tabulating equipment says a software “shortcoming” led to votes being assigned to the wrong candidates and the elections office declaring the wrong winners in two recent Wellington council races.

Ballots from the March 13 Wellington election were counted properly. But the results were matched to the wrong races. Council candidates Shauna Hostetler and Al Paglia were declared winners on election night, but an audit six days later showed John Greene and Matt Willhite had in fact gotten more votes.

Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher blamed a software glitch rather than human error for the problem. Today, she released a statement sent to her office from Dominion Voting Systems Vice President Waldeep Singh.

The vendor’s statement: “The incorrect reporting of vote totals which occurred in the Wellington election was caused by a mismatch between the software which generates the paper ballots and the central tally system. This synchronization difficulty is a shortcoming of the version of software currently being used in Palm Beach County and that shortcoming has been addressed in a subsequent version of the software. These enhancements help to prevent such an anomaly from occurring in the future. Dominion is in the process of providing this newer version to Palm Beach County.”

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

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 by George Bennett


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.

Elections chief Bucher: ‘This is not a human error’

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 by George Bennett


Palm Beach County’s elections office appears to have figured out the correct results for three Wellington elections after declaring two wrong winners last week and certifying the results to the state.

But in the home of the 2000 “butterfly ballot,” does the fact that erroneous results went undetected for nearly six days in an election with fewer than 6,000 voters carry implications for the November presidential election?

Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher characterized the problem as an isolated and unprecedented software glitch that was detected and corrected using routine audit procedures. She said no one in her office is to blame — and she took exception to questions about whether voters might question her office’s ability to deliver accurate results in the future.

“This is not a human error. This is a computer-generated error, one that is on a computer system that is tested and certified by the state of Florida,” Bucher told reporters.


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