Friday, February 10, 2006

stuck between a rock and a hard place

I've been nagging my county executive and council members about evoting machines. They're under the gun to buy something new because of the HAVA act, if they don't act soon they'll lose those precious federal dollars. Of course there's nothing wrong with the equipment they have now, but that's another story. Anyway, there was a story in our local paper two Saturdays ago about them leaning towards buying Diebold machines. I fired of a couple more emails explaining the hazards of Diebold, apparently many others are doing the same. Here's the last response I received.

Thank you for your thoughts on the selection of electronic voting machines. Chief Executive Dan Onorato read your message and asked that I respond on his behalf.

Please be aware that the members of the Allegheny County Board of Elections plan to adopt Voting System Safeguards. If and when the Commonwealth authorizes VVPAT, Allegheny County will install the appropriate devices on all voting machines. The other safeguards relate to concerns regarding computer codes. The Board agrees that any company the County enters into contract with, will have to agree to give the County access to the voting system code and allow the County to review the code before and after each election to verify its integrity and consistency.

Please be assured that the Chief Executive is weighing the public input on this issue, heavily, as he moves forward in the selection process. Public notice will be published for the next Board of Elections meeting.

Thank you again for contacting our office.

Another problem is, our state legislature is Republican controlled and they haven't certified any any VVPAT (voter verified paper audit trail) machines, if fact the only machine they've certified is a Diebold machine with no paper trail.

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