After nearly three years of working to ensure that the rights of Florida voters are protected, I have taken my fight all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Last week, I filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, arguing that Florida is currently not in compliance with the Bush v. Gore standard and the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Currently, 52 counties in Florida use optical scan machines that allow for a manual recount, while the other 15 counties use touch-screen voting machines that have a paperless system, which cannot be manually recounted in the event of a close election.

In June, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed my federal lawsuit citing that there can be different voting systems within a state and the ability for some voters to have a manual recount while others do not does not unduly burden the voter.  However, prior to my federal appeals dismissal in April, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Steward v. Blackwell that due to differentiating voting systems throughout the state of Ohio, counties cannot ensure that all ballots will be counted, not allowing for equal protection for all voters.  In the opinion, 6th Circuit Judge Boyce F. Martin stated, "we easily conclude that the right to have one's vote counted on equal terms is part of the right to vote." Since differing opinions have been issued within the Federal Circuit Courts, I believe my elections lawsuit merits a review by the Supreme Court.

It is inexcusable that since the 2000 election, the voting rights of all Floridians have been ignored.  The unfortunate fact is that there is widespread disregard for voter rights in Florida and around the country and a disturbing failure by some elected officials to fully ensure the validity of their state's electoral process. Despite growing public concern and
mounting evidence calling into question electronic voting machines, it is clear that Governor Bush and Secretary of State Cobb stand firm that the current system does not need to be fixed. Even Maryland's Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich has questioned the accuracy of touch-screen voting machines and has called for a paper-trail, citing a lack of confidence in the current system.

It is my sincere hope that the Supreme Court will expeditiously hear my case and ultimately deliver an opinion that safeguards our nation's democratic process and ensures fair and accurate elections.