Niki Kelly has an article for the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette entitled “State yet to approve May 2 vote software: 9 area counties ponder paper ballots.” The Indiana Election Commission says that MicroVote Infinity machines contained uncertified software and can’t be legally used in the May 2 primary. This affects 47 counties. The commission is working to certify the software, but there is no guarantee of completion in the next 2 weeks, causing County Clerks to contemplate making copies of paper ballots and counting them by hand.
[Kosciusko County Clerk Sharon Christner acknowledged] the software being installed was uncertified by state election officials but said MicroVote officials assured her it would be soon.
But MicroVote didnâ€™t even file the application for certification until Tuesday. Now it is waiting on required documentation from an independent testing laboratory that the software meets federal election standards. That testing could be completed by Friday or next week, according to testimony Wednesday.
The MicroVote vendor’s assurance has a certain “check is in the mail” ring to it.
Mary Beth Schneider’s article in the Indianapolis Star discusses the MicroVote problems but also mentions problems with Election Systems & Software (ES&S) which primarily affect Marion, Johnson, and St. Joseph counties.
Those problems already have resulted in Marion County deciding it will not be able to meet the federal requirement to have at least one voting machine in each precinct that a disabled voter can use without assistance.Wednesday, clerks from Marion, Johnson and St. Joseph counties all testified about the problems they have had with ES&S. Marion County Clerk Doris Anne Sadler said she has gone through 14 sets of ballots, as ES&S made mistake after mistake, correcting old errors only to make new ones.
It makes me a little nervous that Diebold appears to be the “most reliable” major electronic voting vendor out there. Diebold has come under fire for creating voting systems without reasonable auditing, no paper trail, security holes, and software bugs.
Possibly this is just a hiccup and these electronic systems can be made fool proof. But this is our democracy we’re monkeying around with. Probably even more important than having the votes accurately counted is making citizens confident that the votes are being accurately counted. Without that, everything else in the democracy breaks down. Without that confidence, elected officials are robbed of their legitimacy and lose the consent of the governed to do anything. So we need to be extremely careful with these voting machines.