Two vaults being used in a special election for the Florida House were stolen last week. Unbeknownst to the burglars, they were caught on videotape. The vaults contained a voting machine, the electronic storage device containing all early votes cast, and 850 blank ballots. The motive isn't immediately clear, but here is what we know so far.
In this report, I've gathered some of the answers needed to examine how the burglary might have affected the election.
The Santa Rosa County Sheriff's office released a portion of the surveillance video; more information, contained in the police report, indicates there is additional footage not yet released to the public.
I spoke with Santa Rosa County SOE (Supervisor of Elections) Tappie Villane yesterday, to get details on what was in the vaults and to ascertain what could have been achieved with this burglary.
A brief backstory: This was a contentious election between Republican Mike Hill and Democrat Jeremy Lau; Governor Rick Scott was pushing the locals hard to do what it takes to get Hill into office, according to e-mails from Scott. Mike Hill won by about 3,000 votes.