Friday, February 01, 2008

Fayette's Vicites: Budget Enables Paper Ballot Scanners 2008 Elections

VotePA head, Marybeth Kuznik, doesn't mince the words, does she in supporting the prospect Fayette County may acquire paper ballot based eScans:

"Paperless voting machines are just a recipe for disaster," Kuznik said.

Kuznik's organization maintains a website and message board which features an array of information similarly-minded election-integrity activists can use in efforts to convince commissioners around the Pennsylvania to adopt the tried-and-true paper ballots with the new technology, ballot scanners.

Our focus has been on the ability of the scanners to detect an over-voted paper ballot and enable the voter second chance voting to correct errors, or change their mind about making no selections.

Many get so exasperated with their public officials they don't even bother to show up at the polls. With the technology of the scanners, the verifiability of the voter's intent on the paper ballot, voters have no excuse to stay home. They can show up and cast an under-voted ballot and write-in other candidates or fake names in place of the ballot candidates.

A voice in the choice with some assurance that selection will be recorded accurately.

(Net the Truth Online)

Fayette commissioners consider new voting machines
By Chris Foreman
Friday, February 1, 2008

An electronic voting machine under consideration by Fayette County commissioners looks like a fax machine, acts as a digital scanner and provides a paper trail by collecting the ballots fed into the tray.
Democratic Commissioners Vince Zapotosky and Vince Vicites invited reporters Thursday afternoon to a demonstration of the eScan machine, made by Texas-based Hart InterCivic, the company that supplied the county with 268 eSlate voting systems.

The county spent $1.22 million two years ago to replace its 30-year-old lever-voting system with eSlate machines. Voters use a dial to rotate through the choices in each race before pressing a button to select a candidate.

Most of the funding was covered by the federal government through the Help America Vote Act of 2002, intended to fix voting irregularities claimed during the presidential election in November 2000.

Commissioners are considering whether to purchase 113 eScan machines, which could allay some senior citizens' dislike of eSlate machines, address long waits at the largest of the county's 103 precincts and offer a verified paper trail.
A special meeting tentatively is scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday. An eScan machine is on display at the Fayette County Public Safety building at 22 E. Main St., Uniontown.

With the eScan, voters mark their choices on a paper ballot and feed the ballot into the machine, which stores the results on a flash card.

If a person under-votes or over-votes, the eScan spits out the ballot, giving the voter an opportunity to make changes to the ballot or to resubmit it.

Once accepted, the ballot goes into a locked compartment in the machine. If a power outage should occur, poll workers manually could insert the ballot.

"There will be no doubt as to how a voter wanted to vote because it will always be there," said Adrian Gonzales, an account executive for Hart InterCivic.

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