Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ohio dumping e-voting machines....

From Associated Press via :

Ohio County May Junk E-Voting Machines
The Associated Press
Wednesday 29 November 2006

Cleveland - Officials in the state's most populous county are considering scrapping touch-screen voting machines for the 2008 presidential election, saying the machines contributed to long lines at voting booths and are costly to operate.

Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is situated, spent $14 million on the Nov. 7 election and cannot afford to spend that much on every vote, county commissioners Tim Hagan and Jimmy Dimora said. Much of the money was spent training poll workers how to operate new touch-screen machines.

With even greater turnout expected for the 2008 presidential election, commissioners are considering switching to optical-scan machines that read paper ballots. These machines, they say, are faster than the current touch screen machines because voters can fill out their ballots on paper before they are scanned and processed. They also say they are cheaper to train workers to operate.

Dimora said the elections board should have known when they bought the touch-screen machines that there weren't enough to handle a presidential election. The optical-scan machines are used in other counties, he said.

David Bear, a spokesman for Diebold Inc., which makes the touch-screen machines, predicted voters and poll workers would gain familiarity with the current system with additional use and that it would speed up voting.

The commission expects to vote on the issue by the end of the year.

Elsewhere, a Fairfield County elections official said the board made a mistake totaling the elections results Nov. 7 because of a software mix up with their Diebold machines, but that the results were corrected within hours.

Deborah Henderly, Fairfield County's elections director, said the corrected vote totals did not change any results initially reported.

The mix up occurred because the county hadn't reconfigured software in its voting machines after an initiative on the statewide ballot was removed, skewing the tallies, officials said.


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