S.C. voters using machines under government audit

By Samantha Kimmey
Tuesday, November 6, 2012 14:53 EDT
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Voting booth via AFP
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In South Carolina, voters are casting ballots on touch-screen machines being audited by the oversight arm of the state legislature, reported the Free Times of Columbia, S.C.

Republican Lt. Gov Glenn McConnell called for the review last year.

One official with the Audit Council said they are investigating whether machines record votes accurately, among other issues.

Last year, a group of computer scientists and election watchers concluded, in an independent review of machines, that thousands of votes disappeared from totals certified by the State Election Commission during the 2010 midterm elections. The commission responded that the differences were never enough to sway an election and that they corrected many of the issues.

South Carolina is also one of 16 states that still uses paperless voting machines, meaning that there is no paper trail to verify votes if a machine malfunctions.

“If those machines malfunction, there’s no way to independently check what the actual voter’s intent was,” the director of the Voting Integrity Program at the nonprofit Common Cause, Susannah Goodman, told the Charleston Post & Courier. “In these 16 states, we’re very vulnerable to miscounts that won’t be caught.”

While some voters in South Carolina reported no issues, many complained of long lines.

On Facebook, one voter claimed she waited three hours to vote and witnessed many others simply giving up. Four of the six machines at her precinct were broken, she said, and “the old people running check-in” also posed a problem.

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