01 March 2006

DePuy: Sancho should face jury
Elections head says he has plan

Tallahassee Democrat - March 1, 2006

Leon County Commissioner Ed DePuy suggested Tuesday that a grand jury should investigate why the Supervisor of Elections Office was unable to get voting equipment for the disabled by a January deadline.

DePuy, during Tuesday's County Commission meeting, said only an impartial panel of jurors could get to the bottom of the matter. Commissioner Tony Grippa agreed, but DePuy later withdrew the request.

"I want people under oath to go in and testify as to why we can't get our act together in Leon County," DePuy said before withdrawing his motion.

Commissioner Cliff Thaell said asking for a grand jury would be "a very dangerous step." Commissioner Bob Rackleff called the idea "shameful and grotesque."

For the second time in two weeks, Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho faced a barrage of questions from DePuy and Grippa over the equipment issue. Both are upset over the loss of $564,421 in grant money because of the missed deadline and the possibility that the county will have to pay millions more than originally anticipated on new voting equipment.

The grant money, which Sancho hopes to get back, would have gone toward the purchase of voting machines that allow disabled people to vote without assistance. The federal Help America Vote Act requires the equipment in all voting locations.


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