The debate over e-voting rages on. In Ohio’s Franklin County, the Board of Elections had a 4-page insert placed in the Daily Monopoly (The Columbus Dispatch) explaining the new voting machines that will be in place for our May 2 primary. Some are excited that the machines aren’t Diebold – Franklin County BOE Director Matt Damschroder could hardly purchase Diebold machines after being suspended without pay for taking a $10,000 check/bribe from Bush and Hackwell’s favorite voting vendor – but Election Systems & Software (ES&S) has clear Republican ties through Sen. Chuck Hagel’s ownership interest in the company.
While the ES&S machines sound wonderful in the Dispatch ad, when BOE employee Howard Heard first presented the machine to the Commissioners for demonstration, it didn’t work and had to be brought back for a second presentation.
Also, voting rights activist John Gideon has pointed out problems with ES&S optical scan machines in Ohio’s Summit County. ES&S admitted to making mistakes with the memory card and had to replace 70% of the instrument that records the vote. So the memory card is one area voters should pay attention to.
A big problem in the November 2005 Ohio election was the lost and misplaced memory cards in Montgomery County and the fact that the BOE in Lucas County hired co-called “Rovers” to pick up the memory cards and they came in VERY late. Questions over the chain of custody of the memory cards is key to conducting an honest election.
The ad emphasizes that the new Ohio ES&S machines are “state and federally certified and have passed three independent software audits.” The question is, who were the independent auditors. Let me leave you with the opinion of Black Box Voting on certification: “Black Box Voting calls foul on the entire certification process (Federal and State). The Federal process is broken. The limited functionality testing performed by Steve Freeman and CompuWare hasn’t even tested for several of the known glitches (like Dr. Herbert Thompson’s VBA script attack, and Hursti’s electronic ballot box stuffing and memory card swapping techniques). No one has corrected even the risks that have been acknowledged.”