p.

02

Friday,

Janu8ry

OS,

2007

3;~

.JJNf

rA~

~

~

tAI.PaNA

PM

~OUit

of:f.eprei'tntat1bti
(202)225-.2081

COMMITTEE01 MOUII ADMII'RTRATIOI 1~ Longworth House Otnoe 8ulldlng

~16 ~167

..~

wwwhoultg.,v/ehi

,TanuOl)' 2007 4,

Mr. Jon S. Wheeler Clerk of the Court Florida First District Court of Appeal
30 I S. Martin Luther King

Tal1aha~see~ 32399-1850 FL
Re.' Christine Jennings v. Elections Canvassing Conmliss;on. Case No. 1007-

Dear Mr. Wheeler:
I am \vriting in relation to the pending case, Christine Janning.\' v.

Blvd.

_.C.

("'anvas,,;ng ('Ol11111i",,;on, Case No. lIX)7-11, and ask that this letter be filed \vith
the Court in connection with that proceeding.

The

House

of

Representatives

has

recei,:ed

a

Notice

of

C(.mtest

Christine Jennings,presef\1ngher right to contestin the House,the certified results of Florida's Congres~ional District electiofico as she is now dOlllg wlder Florida
law. The responsibilit}, 13m for evaluating any House contest falls to the Administl'ation Committee, which I chair. As Q result, my C\)mmittee House is ck)sel)'

follo\ving the course of the litigation now undenvay in Florida.

In contestedHouseelections~theHouse customarily relieson statelegal processes pro,'ide a full and fair airing of contestedelection issuesraisedby the to
parties. This allows states the °Pp\1l'tllnity t(.)1\llly discharge their C(.)nstimti(.)nal responsibility to conduct Federal elections. These state proceeding~ ordinariI)' enhance the ability of the HO\ISe to e"OhI0te the merits of all)' pending electi(.m

contest. SeeRo,tdeb"shv Hartke, 405 U.S. 15,92 S.Ct. 804 (1972). It is thereforeof concernthat dIe partie~havebeenW18ble agreeupon..and to
that~ on December 29 TB~ the lower court declined to order ~ the requested acce~

from

Elections

and soft\vare(including the sourcect)de)neededto test the contestant'scentral claim: voting machinemalfunction. No\v on appealto your
the hardware
Court is the clUestion of access to thi~ evidence~ which bears decisively on the

to

p.03

Friday,

January

OS,

2007

3;Qg

prospect

of

conclusively

PM

establishing

who

\va~

duly

elected

on

No\'ember

7tll

this

Congres~ional

district.

My

p\.1rpt)Se

here

is

not

to

expres.~

a

pt)sition

ab<.)ut

the

technical

merits

from

of

competing legal arg\.1ments in this e,1dential1' dispute. M)' p\.1rposeis to point O\.1t

that~in e\--a1uating
an

election

contest

in

the

House~

the

House

is

well

served

in

O\v11deliberations

b)' ha\fuG

before it a complete

record.

C\meeql.1ently,

Flol1da

law "ill facilitate the evarnation of the election Ctmtestpending before the House
to the extent that it pro\:ide~ access to rele\:ant and critical e\:idence. I

confident that this can be done in a 'yay that accommodates valid interestsof the the parties,and resoh1tion tllese isSt1eS ob,'iate the needfor the Houseto of ma)'
address them.

This

election

contest

is~ of CO1.1rge,8, case of national

import8nce~

am

brO1.1ght

beft1fethe CO\.1rt a time of serious and mounting concern abt)\.1t reliabilit)' of at the
paperless electronic \'oting equipment. I am aware tl1at the voters of County expressed their doubts on November 7 TB~ \vhen they approved Rarasota a

requu'ement \'oter verified papet' for balloting and mandatt)f)'audits.
Against this background~ amparticularly I concerned thepublic~ in that Florida and nation-\Vide~ have full confidence that the questions miscd by this

contestare resolvedafter clmsideratilmof all relevante,'idence. It is \vith this public interestin mind,.and also \villi due considerationfor the State'sand the
House's proper performance of their respective constitutional duties~ that I

respectfully S\.1bmit theseviews to the Court for its consideration.

Sincerely,.

Cc:

SeeattachedCertificate of Ser\'ice

its

the