Saturday, February 09, 2008

Brunner's Cleveland Election Gamble Falling Apart

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's decision to require Cuyahoga County (Cleveland) to scrape their multi-million dollar electronic voting machines for no real reason has caused quite a stir. The New York Times politics blog has picked up on the saga.

Brunner's last minute decision to rid Ohio of touch-screen voting machines is reckless and a move done only to appease a fanatical base of liberal supporters who think Diebold, Halliburton, and Dick Cheney will rig every election. Brunner claims touch-screen voting provides no paper trail for ballots. False. In Butler Coutny, as one example, Diebold machines printed a paper receipt of each voter's ballot. Before printing, the machine had the voter verify their votes for each candidate and issue before tabulting the vote. Then the receipt is printed by the machine and the voter can see the receipt before leaving the polling place. Touch screens not only provide a paper trail but they keep ballots more secure. The use of paper ballots opens up vulnerabilities to tampering and illegal tabulation that Brunner is plainly ignoring.

Now individual counties, like Union County, are fighting in the courts to keep the touch-screen system and Brunner has a mess on her hands. If the touch-screen system had to be replaced, it should have been done after the 2008 primary--at the very least. Jeers to Jennifer Brunner.

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