I'm not a conspiracy theorist but the simple facts in the Sarasota, Florida, congressional race seem to indicate obvious machine malfunction or malfeasance, rather than the will of the voters. On many ballots in one district, there was a strange absence of votes for Congress. This is the critical fact:

About 15 percent of ballots cast on Sarasota's touch-screen machines registered no choice in the bitterly fought congressional race. That percentage was about six times greater than the undervote in the rest of the House district, which spreads into four other counties.

[My italics]. What evidence do we have that those missing votes might have gone to the Democrat rather than the Republican? Money quote:

The Sentinel reviewed records of 17,846 touch-screen ballots that included no vote in the tightly contested 13th District congressional race to determine whom voters selected in other major races. The analysis of the so-called "undervotes" examined the races for U.S. Senate, governor, attorney general, chief financial officer and agriculture commissioner.

The results showed that the undervoted ballots skewed Democratic in all of those races, even in the three races in which the county as a whole went Republican. In the governor's race, for example, Republican Charlie Crist won handily in Sarasota, easily beating Democrat Jim Davis. But on the undervoted ballots, Davis finished ahead by almost 7 percentage points.

In the agriculture commissioner's race, Republican Charles Bronson beat Copeland by a double-digit margin among all voters. But on the undervoted ballots, Copeland won by about 3 percentage points.

So what are the chances that strongly Democratic voters would have a position on the agriculture commisioner's race, but not the Congressional seat? These machines either malfunctioned or were rigged. We need a federal investigation to find out which.

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