Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Commissioners to purchase voting machines susceptible to fraud

At Wednesday meeting, the Commissioners approved the acceptance of federal funding to purchase additional voting machines.

Chief Clerk of the Board of Elections Mary Stehman said that the bulk of the $379,678.76 in federal funding from the "Help America Vote Act" will be used to purchase 54 additional eSlate and 10 additional eScan machines.

eSlate are computerized voting systems, which can be outfitted with audio and other assistance equipment for the disabled. eScan are the machines that read the markings on paper ballots.

eSlate machines have been controversial since they do not produce a voter-verified paper trail and may be vulnerable to software malfunctions and foul play.

With many states and voting districts junking such equipment and replacing them with equipment that permit vote verification to assure an accurate recount, the current commissioners are following in the footsteps of predecessors Pete Shaub and Dick Shellenberger in ignoring best practices.

It is hard to believe that they are purposefully setting up a situation conducive to voter fraud. So we must simply ascribe their motivations to ignorance, indifference, or favoritism.