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Buddy MacKay points to a headline in his hometown paper, the Ocala Star-Banner, proclaiming he won the Senate seat instead of Connie Mack. The photo appeared in the Palm Beach Post on Nov. 10, 1988 Photo by Bob Shanley, staff photographer, Palm Beach Post

A Tale of Weird Drop-Offs and Jump-Ups: Are Computer Vote Counts Honest?

TALLAHASSEE AND SOUTH FLORIDA–Speaking softly, but with an occasional “damn,” the lieutenant governor of Florida, Democrat Buddy McKay, said last spring in his office in the Florida State Capitol that he believed a seat in the U.S. Senate was stolen from him six years ago. Lt. Governor Kenneth “Buddy” McKay. “I felt that way very strongly at the time,” he said. “I felt that we had legitimately won and it had been stolen. I’ve gotten to a point now where I’m not gonna go through my life lookin’ back. That’s somethin’ that has happened and I’m movin’ on.” Without pointing his finger at anyone, MacKay alluded to a “problem in the software” which counted the votes in computers in that election as “a separate area of suspicion”; to a ballot layout in the four biggest counties that were regarded as favorable to him which he thought caused voters not to see the Senate race; and to an unprecedented “dropoff” of the computer-counted votes in those four counties. That dropoff alone may well have defeated MacKay.

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