By Brad Friedman on 11/5/2004, 12:56pm PT  

Miami Herald now reporting that 70,000 votes were "discovered" last night in Broward County, FL for a gambling initiative that reversed the previously announced outcome. [emphasis mine, and mostly notable to those who have been following along with previously reported items]:

Broward County corrected a computer glitch Thursday that had miscounted thousands of absentee votes, instantly turning a slot-machine measure from loser to winner and reinforcing concerns about the accuracy of electronic election returns.

The bug, discovered two years ago but never fixed, began subtracting votes after the absentee tally hit 32,500 --- a ceiling put in place by the software makers.
...
The problem was quickly traced to software in what is known as the central tabulation machine, a computer that collects data from optical scanners that read the individual mail-in ballots.
...
County officials blamed Election Systems & Software, the company that sold the machines and counting software to Broward.

County officials say they think ES&S failed to follow through on a problem that was brought to their attention two years ago, during the 2002 general election.

ES&S spokeswoman Becky Vollmer said the glitch --- which limits the number of votes that can be counted in each precinct to safeguard against ballot stuffing --- will be fixed in software updates they are submitting to the Division of Elections next year.
...
Alia Faraj, [FL Secretary of State, Glenda] Hood's spokeswoman, said ES&S had not previously submitted any information about the counting cap in its tabulation software, which is supposed to be certified by the Secretary of State's Office.
...
The tabulation software was set to reverse the vote count at 32,500. It was triggered when Broward counted all 97,535 absentee ballots in one mega-precinct Tuesday night and early Wednesday.

Hello? Connect. The. Dots.

(For more on the Optical Scan oddities in Florida, and info on who ES&S is, see this previous item.)