Palm Beach Democratic Officeholder Caught With Voting Machine In Car

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:27pm EDT

( - More controversy for Palm Beach County, Florida, where sheriffs deputies confiscated a voting machine in a car owned by Irving Slosberg, a Democrat who recently won election to a seat in the Florida legislature.

The sheriff's office said the machine, called a "Votamatic," did not contain any ballots. The device is used on some types of ballot boxes to punch ballot cards, which are then tallied by computers.

Sheriffs deputies questioned Slosberg at the Palm Beach County Board of Elections building after Denise Cote, the director of the Palm Beach County Government Public Affairs Office, told them she'd spoken to Slosberg, trying to get the Votamatic back.

Cote told deputies that Slosberg became confrontational and denied having the machine. Deputies then questioned Slosberg and escorted him to his car where he retrieved the ballot box from behind the front seat. Slosberg was given a property receipt for the machine, but refused to sign it.

Deputies took the ballot box to County Supervisor of Elections Theresa LePore who did sign the property receipt. The Sheriffs Department noted in its statement that "this incident did occur during the hand count of the presidential election and LePore stated she did not wish to pursue this matter at this time, due to extenuating circumstances. No further action was taken at this time."

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