Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Florida election debacle continues...first they had problems with the system when early voting started last week, now it appears that about 58,000 absentee ballots have gone missing.
Tens of thousands of postal ballots have gone missing in the US state of Florida, sparking fresh concern over irregularities in the poll campaign.

Some 60,000 absentee ballots were despatched by authorities in Broward County, north of Miami, this month.

However, only 2,000 of them have been delivered.

Florida was the centre of controversies which delayed the result in 2000, with George W Bush eventually declared the winner in the state by 537 votes.

Electoral officials have been overwhelmed by calls from anxious would-be voters who are not going to be able to get to the polls next Tuesday and fear that their votes have been stolen.

The missing ballots have fuelled an atmosphere of intense suspicion in Florida, with Democrats already backing nine separate law suits in the state, says the BBC's Justin Webb in Washington.

If the outcome is close and decides the result in the presidential race - and both of those eventualities are perfectly possible - it seems virtually certain that protracted legal battles will follow, our correspondent says.
This election is shaping up to be an even bigger mess than the 2000 fiasco!