August 01, 2005

Diebold - CA: Nay; UT: Yea; NC: Maybe

According to the San Diego Union Tribune, a mock election test with Diebold machines didn't impress the Secretary of State's office:

... In a mock election, machines turned off, screens froze and papers jammed.

The voting system has a checkered past. In 2004, hundreds of polling places opened late and voters were turned away when a computer glitch paralyzed the touch screens.

Secretary of State Bruce McPherson said the voting machine failed 10 percent of the time during testing. He notified Ohio-based Diebold Election Systems Inc. on Wednesday that its system was "not suitable."

"We certainly can't take any kind of risk like that with this kind of device on California voters," McPherson said in a statement released yesterday. "I want all voting systems used in California to be secure and user-friendly." ...

Meanwhile, the Deseret News says that Utah will be giving Diebold a thumbs up:

... "We're confident that we're going to have an accurate system in the state of Utah," said Michael Cragun, director of Utah's elections division. "The lieutenant governor has made his choice to use the Diebold machines, and we plan to continue pursuing that." ...

Ah. They've made a decision, that being a virtue in and of itself, and therefore they're sticking with it. Where have I heard that chain of 'logic' before? But North Carolina legislators are being more cautious:

... State lawmakers are pushing through a bill that would require all N.C. voting machines to produce a paper ballot or record that can be used in disputed elections.

The legislation would limit counties to three types of voting machines: optical scan, electronic recording or hand-counted paper ballots. House leaders are gearing up for hearings on the bill next week that senators adopted unanimously this week.

Lawmakers worked on the bill for months after several problems in November's elections led to thousands of lost votes, disputed races and the lack of a state schools superintendent.

...The state has been holding about $50 million in federal money for new machines provided by the Help America Vote Act until lawmakers determined the kinds of machines they wanted. ...

To steal a phrase from William Shatner's cheesy ads, the government of North Caroline has decided to shop and compare before they buy. Good for them.

Posted by natasha at August 1, 2005 12:41 PM | Civil Liberties | Technorati links |