FL-13: Seating Buchanan Is Not the End
by jrb1968, Fri Dec 29, 2006 at 12:16:56 PM EST
Earlier today, Congressman Rush Holt (NJ-12) put out a statement that he will "take steps to put the U.S. House of Representatives on record as recognizing the justification of the electoral challenge filed by Congressional candidate Christine Jennings regarding the disputed election in Florida's 13th Congressional District, and making clear that any House proceedings on January 4, 2007, will not prejudice legal proceedings or legislative inquiry regarding the election's validity."
In other words, Holt will see to it that the House's seating of Republican Vern Buchanan is not taken as recognition of his victory (and thereby a rebuke of Jennings' challenge). Rep. Holt, the primary sponsor of the Voter Confidence and Accessibility Act, had this to say on the matter last month:
The inaccuracy of electronic touch-screen voting machines poses a direct threat to the integrity of our electoral system and to our nation's democracy. Once again this broken system has been exposed in Florida's 13th Congressional district where over 18,000 votes went uncounted. Without the means to fully guarantee that every vote is counted as fairly and accurately as possible, the authenticity of our recorded vote will always be uncertain and open to electoral and legal challenges.Since then, others have speculated how to make matters right in this case. Following precedent, Howard Dean suggested Buchanan not be seated in the House, and Blue Jerseyencouraged Rep. Holt to lead that fight. Yet Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi has said little about the matter, and Jennings has now publicly relinquished opposition to seating Buchanan.
So, while Pelosi and other members of House leadership sit on the sidelines, Rep. Holt is getting in the game for democracy. In his latest statement, he clearly says
Under federal law, there is a procedure in place for reviewing contested elections. The House should do nothing to compromise or prejudice the case Ms. Jennings has before the Florida courts. I expect the evidence will show that the certification did not reflect the will of the voters and a re-vote is necessary. [Emphasis added]