Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Local News

November 3, 2008

Electronic voting is a touchy issue

Voting officials must decide what to do when voters report problems casting ballots on touch-screen voting machines.

(Continued)



Software updates

When a company issues a software update, the Secretary of State must certified the update, according to Sherbet. Although ES&S; issued an update for the iVotronic, he said he opted not to put it in place until tested more thoroughly.

“It took the state one-and-a-half years to certify a new version of [iVotronic] software,” he said, adding that the secretary of state certified the most recent update sometime between April and June - after the state primary election.

“There was not enough time to go through [a lesser election]. We will change it after this election … I don't want to Beta test software going into a presidential election,” he explained.

When asked if Palo Pinto County has a service agreement with ES&S;, Fields said, “The agreement with the county is focused on repairing, not on an ongoing maintenance agreement.”

Electronic Voting Tips



Both Ellen Theisen, co-director of www.VotersUnite.Org a non-partisan national grassroots elections resource, and Kim Zetter, a senior reporter at Wired News, suggest the following for all Texas voters, especially since the state does not require paper records:

• Avoid straight-party voting. If you want to vote for all candidates of the same party, select each one separately.

• Review all votes on the review screen very carefully, and make sure they are right before pressing the “Vote” button. “If the machine flips your vote, do NOT be intimidated into thinking you goofed,” warns Theisen. “Vote-flipping is occurring all over the place in Texas and other states. It’s YOUR vote. Make sure it’s what you want it to be.”

If voters encounter any problem with an electronic machine:

• Call a poll worker immediately. “If you’re willing to give up your privacy, tell the poll worker what happened and try to reproduce the problem with the poll worker watching,” Theisen said. [Note that poll workers should not suggest the name of a candidate or party to any voter – an issue also reported by a Palo Pinto County resident in early voting.]

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