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You have to pay attention to what elected officials may do

Fayette County commissioners may consider replacing the county-wide lever-style voting machine with a touch screen machine.
 
Notice of such a forthcoming action was revealed in a news article and during the first and second hours of a local talk show radio program, Let's Talk on WMBS 590 on May 30, 2003.
 
The Tribune-Review's Daily Courier online news article printed a statement by Commissioner Sean Cavanagh, who sought re-election to a third term to the board of commissioners, but did not obtain enough votes for a spot during the May Primary Election.  
 
Matthew Junker, Tribune Review, Thursday, May 29, 2003
"Outgoing officials float home-rule for Fayette County"
 
To search for the article go to the main page of the Daily Courier, put in key words "home rule" or the article title.
 
Outgoing officials float home-rule for Fayette County  (2003-05-29)
Fayette County commissioners Sean Cavanagh and Ronald Nehls said Wednesday that, in the wake of their primary losses, they still have a number of initiatives they'd be interested in advancing in their last seven months in office.
Matthew Junker | Tribune-Review | Score: 4.7
 
Excerpt:
 

Doug Hill, executive director of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, said there were no restrictions in state law to prevent outgoing or lame-duck commissioners from adopting home rule.

"There's nothing that I can see that would bar that," he said.

Both Nehls and Cavanagh said, in response to a question, that they would consider the idea as they leave office, in addition to others they want to see completed.

"I am not a lame-duck commissioner," Cavanagh said. "I will work to continue to get things done."

According to state law, if two commissioners approve a home-rule study commission, the measure is placed on the ballot. If voters approve the referendum, the commissioners would have the right to appoint a group of citizens to compile recommendations.

The group's report is then submitted for a yes-no vote on the ballot, with the results being binding.

Nehls said he did some investigation into home rule some years ago in Erie County and left with the impression that it was a mixed bag. However, he said he'd consider the idea.

Cavanagh also said he'd like to have the county purchase all-new touchscreen voting machines to replace the 700-pound mechanical voting machines.

"I never trusted those," Cavanagh said.

Nehls produced several sheaves of paper documenting proposals for housing rehabilitation programs and government resource pooling that he'd like to see implemented.

End Excerpt.

10 a.m Friday May 30, 2003, Let's Talk, WMBS 590 radio, with Bob Foltz.  During the first hour of the program an unidentified caller mentioned the lever-style machines and further said the touch screen machines would be better than what we have.
 
During the second hour, Commissioner Ron Nehls was a guest. 
 
Bob Foltz asked the commissioner about the touch screen machines.
 
Nehls stated that some monies were available until October of this year to use to replace the machines we now have.  According to Nehls, the monies would have to be used by that time.  Nehls said the machines we have are archaic.
 
He stated that a voting machine manufacturing company (out of California) was scheduled to meet with the board of commissioners, in February, however, the other commissioners were unable to attend, so the meeting was not held and would have to be rescheduled.
 
Update:
 
County commissioners held an agenda meeting Tuesday, June 3rd.  I submitted my written comments about touch-screen voting machines after the meeting to Chairman Vincent Vicites.  He said he would pass the material on to the other commissioners.
 
Update:
 
Commissioner Sean Cavanagh was a guest on Let's Talk with Bob Foltz on Wednesday, June 4th.  After discussing a few other issues, Foltz asked Cavanagh about the  about replacing the lever machines with touch-screen machines.  Cavanagh basically said what he'd stated in the news article.
 
I called in and referred to Rebecca Mercuri, her website, and asked if she could be contacted to give commissioners her opinion about touch-screen machines.  I gave the commissioner her phone number.
 
Update:
 
The board of commissioners held a regular meeting on Thursday, June 5th.  Agenda item 49 was to consider Requests for Proposals for voting machines.
 
Before the start of the meeting, Commissioner Cavanagh, addressed me from the front of the room, saying he had called the phone number for Rebecca Mercuri and he'd like to get in contact with her.
 
I gave my 3-minute public comments and submitted that in written form, along with resources. 
 
After my comments, Commissioner Cavanagh said they were going to hold an informational seminar including as many machine vendors as possible, and they would invite Mercuri, and anybody else who had information on voting machines, the media, and others.
 
Update:
 
After I made my remarks at the meeting, the commissioners explained they would first hold an info-session that will include voting machine vendors, and, they will also invite Mercuri and other such experts to attend.  Hopefully, we can all become informed about this serious issue of the protection of our vote from fraud and manipulation.
 
After the meeting, I returned home and tried to search for even more infomation about the warnings from the computer science experts.  I had hoped the board members understood the difference between a voter-verified receipt and a machine print-out.
 
It is still unclear at this time, whether the Federal Election Commission and federal commission on elections has certified the type of machine the public demands.  In fact, recently, within the past ten days, Representative Rush Holt introduced legislation called the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2003 - thanks to the Scoop site and blackboxvoting.com!  I was able to include that update in my comments.
 
But it wasn't until later that more came to light!
 
slashdot.org discussion
 
voter verifiable machine

On front page, a voter verifiable machine co? (Score:2, Informative)
 
by mrmeval (662166) <mrmeval@ea[ ]link.net ['rth' in gap]
 
 on Sunday April 20, @11:12PM (#5771347)
 
Fortunately, the slashdot site has been discussing voting issues for quite a while.  Who knew???
 
The site referenced the blackboxvoting site.
 
Here is the article:  WATCH THIS COMPANY
 
Posted by BevHarris on Tuesday, March 18
 
See for yourself, very useful information about Avante, a system which provides a voter-verified paper trail!
 
 
Read this article on the Scoop site:
 

Mobtown Beat - Ballot Check


Computerized Voting Comes Under Fire in Georgia and California
By Van Smith
February 19 - February 25, 2003
 
Excerpt:
 
Meanwhile, two voting-machine companies--Avante of New Jersey and AccuPoll of California--have begun marketing systems that provide voter-verified receipts, an indication that some in the voting-machine industry see recent events as writing on the wall.
 
Scoop cites article.  Here.
 
Keep on finding tons of useful info!
 
[IP] Electronic voting
 
Exchange between Neumann and Mercuri
 
 
More:
 
Really... more... to provide voter-verifiable paper trail!
 
 
And now we have the kind of overall information we can relay to our local county commissioners, so they can have all of the facts before they make a decision on our behalf.