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7 PM Wednesday, March 22, 2006 Uniontown (PA):  according to a 7 PM HSTV News 19 report, (transcript) the Fayette County Board of Commissioners chose unanimously Hart InterCivic's e-slate voting system.  Training sessions for judges of elections and poll workers may begin at the end of the month.

opinion submitted to Board of Fayette County commissioners via email

opinion posted   Herald Standard "Commissioners to make decision on voting machines today" Added: Wednesday March 22, 2006 at 09:07 AM Vote None of the Above

Select the county you will be voting in by using the map or the list of County links below.  This will give you information on what voting system your county is using. 

HART InterCivic's e-Slate is the voting system choice of the Fayette County Commissioners.
 
Around the net For Your Information:
 
HART InterCivic
 
About eSlate
The eSlate is Hart’s DRE voting device that allows voters to view, vote, and record electronic ballots. The lower portion of the eSlate includes a set of distinctly shaped control buttons and the SELECT Wheel™ for ease of navigation. These features enable the voter to review the ballot and cast votes independently, securely, and accurately. The Disabled Access Unit™ (DAU) is an additional module that modifies an eSlate to include an audio ballot reader and input jacks for adaptive devices, providing access features for voters with visual impairments, blindness, mobility impairments, or literacy challenges. With the eSlate, all voters can vote independently, privately and securely.
 
 
 
 
Voers Unite Analysis Hart InterCivic in the news A Partial List of Documented Failures
 

Fayette County Watch (History making tracking issue)
 
How Safe Is Your E-Vote?
Elections go digital, but experts fear a crash

...Perhaps most important, the eSlate system has no external connections – no hookups to phone lines, the Internet, or an intranet. While some systems allow results to be sent by modem to a central vote-counting facility, the eSlate is comparatively old-fashioned – much like an old-style ballot box, the devices ("mediums") into which votes are recorded are removed by the election judges after the polls close and physically transported to the central counting station. Asked if she would ever try to transmit election results over the Internet or modem, DeBeauvoir said, "No way. ... Never."

includes Mercuri comments (a must read)

Other critics even give Hart qualified praise.

"Those touch screens are just utter crap," says Rebecca Mercuri, a research fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a very prominent e-voting critic. "Even the banking industry had gone away from them years ago, because they malfunction so badly. It's a smart move on Hart's part to not use that. Also, for the disabled, I think it's a very nice interface, that sort of wheellike thing."

http://www.austinchronicle.com/issues/dispatch/2004-02-20/pols_feature.html

Hays County http://www.hartic.com/pr_view.php?prid=11

Wednesday, March 22, 2006 9:20 am
 
The Commissioners unfortunately are succumbing to the pressure by the state to choose one of the systems now, or reportedly face loss of HAVA/state funding. 
 
 They should send a message to Harrisburg and not choose any voting system at this time. 
 
The commissioners emphatically should not limit themselves to only those systems whose vendors demonstrated their voting systems during meetings in the county.
 
The state certification process for voting systems has been more than scandalous.  It's been negligent.  A few systems hadn't been certified until mid-February, even though the systems had received federal approval.  The status of pending certification was a major reason at least one vendor didn't show up for a scheduled appearance in the county.
 
Two others on PA's list for certification, Populex iand Unilect unbelievably as of today are still awaiting federal approval (according to the PA Department of State Voting System Certification Status ).  Talk about where to place the blame for delay in implementing HAVA requirements - it belongs squarely at the federal level. 
 
Meanwhile, Liberty Vote Full Face awaits further PA review!
 
Controversy still surrounds the electronic touch-screen systems - just search the net and you'll see mistrust of the electronic "paperless" systems remains steadfast and strong.  Even though internal (secure) digital records of an actual ballot can be made, the mistrust lingers.
 
The paper ballot with central count optical scan reader has been supported by many experts.  (http://nyvv.org/paperballotHome.shtml)  But even those have reported problems:  Published:Sunday, March 12, 2006
Lisa A. Abraham Akron Beacon Journal 03-11-06
Dead batteries that's what Election Systems & Software officials are saying is to blame for the failure of dozens of computer memory cards in Summit County's new optical scan voting system.  http://www.votersunite.org/news.asp
 
Then, along comes Populex which prints out a full paper ballot with a barcode which can be reviewed by the voter, but not removed from the polling place.
 
 Voters Unite article on Populex voting systems
 
 
But the commissioners didn't even have a chance to look at that one because of the federal government's own bureaucratic negligence.
 
The commissioners should vote None of the Above, until the state has a completed list of voting systems with no PENDING certifications.
 
The commissioners should not make a binding, potentially bonding, decision until they have actually reviewed each system on PA's list. 
 
PA Department of State Voting System Examination
 
Certification Status Information
 
 

 

Updated March 10, 2006
Pennsylvania Department of State
Voting System Certification Status
 
 

New Populex Voting Machine Receives Federal Approval
 
Electronic/Paper-Ballot Hybrid Provides Unique Approach to Meet New Federal
                                 Requirements

    CHICAGO, Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The federal Election Assistance
Commission (EAC) and National Association of State Election Directors (NASED)
have approved a new, innovative voting machine that is the first electronic
system to meet new federal standards by combining the advantages, flexibility
and simplicity of computer-based touch screen voting with the assurances
provided by a tangible paper ballot.  By using the best of both approaches,
the Populex system is designed to restore voter confidence that their votes
will be counted accurately.
    The Populex voting system is one of the first to be certified under the
new, more stringent 2002 federal voting system standards, which many states
will require for state certification.  Systems used in the 2004 elections were
certified to the 1990 standards that permit a host of problems that are still
coming to light. Many companies are jury-rigging these older systems in an
attempt to compensate for their shortcomings. In contrast, the Populex voting
system was designed from the start with the new regulations, customer demands
and people with disabilities in mind.
    "We are excited to have a voting solution that is affordable, practical
and gives voters full confidence that their votes will be counted and, if
necessary, re-counted correctly," said Sanford Morganstein, president of
Populex.  "Comparing the Populex voting system to the machines used in the
2004 election is like comparing a Lexus to an Edsel."
    Unlike most other touch screen systems that risk losing votes, the Populex
system doesn't collect and store votes electronically in the voting computer
.
    Instead, Populex prints an official ballot, equipped with a bar code that
is scanned to reliably record and count the votes. This paper ballot is the
official ballot that's counted on Election Day and also the audit trail needed
for recounts. Additionally, Populex's technology helps prevent voters from
making errors and provides several opportunities for them to verify their
selections.
    "If the Populex voting system was used during the 2004 election in Florida
and Ohio, the resulting conspiracy theories would not exist," said
Morganstein.  "After voting on the Populex system, each voter can leave the
polls with the confidence that his or her votes have been accurately recorded
and will be accurately counted."
    Populex Corporation's advisory board includes both Democrats and
Republicans -- including Tony Coelho, former Democratic Congressman and author
of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Frank Carlucci, former
Secretary of Defense and Advisor to the President for National Security
Affairs during the Reagan Administration.  This bi-partisan participation
helps ensure that Populex focuses on protecting and increasing confidence in
the democratic process without favoring or even being perceived as favoring
one political party over another.
    "Counting votes accurately is neither a Democratic nor a Republican ideal,
it's an American ideal," said Coelho.  "Frank and I are involved with Populex
because we believe it provides the best option across the country to bring
confidence back to our voting process."
    Carlucci added, "I have found that once people see this machine, they
scratch their heads and wonder three things: 'What took so long?'; 'Why didn't
I think of this?'; and 'When can I get it?'."
    Now, with federal approval, Populex will be marketing its innovative
system to the election officials and voters who are eagerly awaiting a system
that provides both the benefits of touch screen voting with the confidence of
an official paper ballot.
    Sanford Morganstein, president of Populex, is the man who brought us the
automated attendant, "press 1 for ... " phone technology, and now he's created
the Populex voting system, which eliminates the problems associated with the
touch screen, punch card and optical scan voting systems of the past, and
directly addresses the ongoing controversy about the reliability, accuracy and
security of touch screen voting systems.


For Discussion Purposes

Voting machine selection expected today
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Fayette County commissioners are expected to select an electronic voting machine at a public hearing at 10 a.m. today.

The commissioners initially scheduled a vote for Tuesday afternoon but postponed action while they continued to talk with vendors and officials from the Pennsylvania Department of State.

The lever voting machines that the county bought in 1976 were decertified for state and federal elections as part of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002.

The county has $1.1 million in grants and has reserved another $500,000 in the general fund for the purchase of new machines. ..

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/dailycourier/news/s_435586.html

 
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Fayette County commissioners are expected to select an electronic voting machine at a public hearing at 10 a.m. today.

The commissioners initially scheduled a vote for Tuesday afternoon but postponed action while they continued to talk with vendors and officials from the Pennsylvania Department of State.

The lever voting machines that the county bought in 1976 were decertified for state and federal elections as part of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002.

The county has $1.1 million in grants and has reserved another $500,000 in the general fund for the purchase of new machines.

County officials are trying to determine which vendors will be able to provide the machines in time for poll workers to be trained for the May 16 primary.

Advanced Voting Solutions, UniLect Corp., Election Systems and Software, and Diebold demonstrated their machines during a public hearing last week.

The meeting this morning will be at the Public Service Building at 22 E. Main St., Uniontown...

More...

Card-scanner system is choice in Chesco

County officials faced a deadline to pick a new means of voting. It drew tempered enthusiasm.

By Nancy Petersen
Inquirer Staff Writer

After months of debate and what seemed to be an endless e-mail campaign by voter activists, Chester County officials have picked a new voting system that uses paper cards and electronic scanners.

The system, much like the one used for standardized tests, was approved by a unanimous vote of the county's Board of Elections to meet new federal standards for voting machines.

Voters will fill in circles next to each candidate's name, and then the ballot will be fed into a high-speed electronic scanner, which counts the results.

The system provides the paper trail sought by some local activists, who said a purely electronic system could not be made tamper-proof.

The card machines will be supplemented with a single electronic touch-screen machine in each polling place for blind and disabled voters.

"This is not a perfect solution, but it is the best one available to us right now," said Chester County Court Judge Jacqueline Cody, who was appointed to the elections board last Thursday. The activists who pushed for a paper-based system expressed partial satisfaction with the unexpected decision.

Chester County faced a federally mandated deadline of May 16 - the state primary - to replace its punch cards with a new, supposedly more accurate system that had been certified by federal and state officials.

It was one of the last counties in the state to adopt a system, said Brian McDonald, spokesman for the Department of State, the agency that oversees elections and is administering the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which became law in 2002.

The last holdout is Fayette County, which is expected to vote on a system today, he said...

http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/14155008.htm

Voting smooth despite glitches    Story Here  Archive
Published:Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Robert P. King Palm Beach Post 14 March 2006

Electronic cards got stuck in voting machines. Pricey touch-screen gizmos weren't working when voters showed up to cast their ballots. Just call it Election Day in Palm Beach County.

A small (we hope) problem with voting machines (NC - ES&S PCMCIA Cards)    Story Here  Archive
Published:Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Mark Brinker Greensboro News-Record 14 March 2006

A couple folks have sent me this story and others like it from Ohio in recent days. The main thrust is this: A bunch of memory cards that are used as part of ES&S's optical scan voting equipment malfunctioned when tested in Ohio.

 

Jefferson County to Recount Votes Monday Afternoon (ES&S)    Story Here  Archive
Published:Monday, March 13, 2006
KBTV 4 13 March 2006
The Jefferson County Elections office tells Hometown News there will be a recount of all primary election returns Monday afternoon. Hometown News first reported this information during a live news at four o`clock Monday afternoon.

Jefferson County election recount (ES&S)    Story Here  Archive
Published:Monday, March 13, 2006
BETH GALLASPY, The Beaumont Enterprise 13 March 2006
BEAUMONT - An election night problem that resulted in an extra 5,000 votes being included in the Jefferson County tally is prompting a recount that could change last week's results.

Group calls for audit of March 7 elections (Pinellas Co., FL)    Story Here  Archive
Published:Monday, March 13, 2006
WILL VAN SANT, St. Petersburgh Times 14 March 2006
CLEARWATER - State regulators are weighing an audit of Pinellas County's March 7 municipal elections, which snagged when a computer server froze and delayed the tallying of votes for two hours.

'New' voting machines aren't    Story Here  Archive
Published:Sunday, March 12, 2006
Jerome L. Sherman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 03/11/06

It's a three-way trade involving Chicago, Las Vegas and Pittsburgh and almost $70 million. But the commodity at the center of this web isn't a group of star athletes. It's voting machines, all manufactured by Sequoia Voting Systems Inc. of Oakland, Calif.

 

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