Tuesday, April 27, 2004

E-voting machine makers: 'not the smartest'

Yesterday CNN wrote that A growing number of federal and state legislators are expressing doubts about the integrity of the ATM-like electronic voting machines that at least 50 million Americans will use to cast their ballots in November.

Even a top Diebold [the producer of the machines, MS] executive acknowledged this week that the systems are not foolproof, as he apologized for primary-day failures and the fact that his company installed uncertified software in counties across California.

"We're not idiots, though we may act from time to time as not the smartest," Diebold President Robert J. Urosevich told California regulators investigating the company's performance.

The head of a newly created federal agency charged with overseeing electronic voting called Diebold's problems "deeply troubling." The bipartisan U.S. Election Assistance Commission, formed in January to develop technical standards for electronic voting, will conduct a May 5 public hearing in Washington, D.C.

"We wanted to jump into this issue in time to impact November's election," said agency director DeForest B. Soaries, Jr. "There are so many troubling issues that have emerged surrounding electronic voting and so much money has been spent since 2000 on converting to electronic voting systems that it requires our attention -- particularly because many states assume the computer is the solution."

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