CNN: On the eve of Iowa caucus, some states give e-voting an 'F'
David Edwards and Jason Rhyne
Published: Wednesday January 2, 2008 |
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With only a day left before the Iowa caucus kicks off 2008 presidential voting, electronic tabulating machines to be used in some state primaries may be "unfit" for an election, according to CNN.

"As primaries draw near," reports Wolf Blitzer, "some states are finding serious problems already with their electronic voting machines -- and they're ready to give e-voting a grade of 'F'"

CNN's Carol Costello says that despite the rash of voting irregularities that plagued previous presidential elections in 2004 and 2000, voting machines -- specifically electronic versions of the devices -- still have flaws.

"You would think after all the problems we had with hanging chads in 2000 and voting machine malfunctions in 2004 and 2006, voting machines across the country would work by now, " reported Costello. "But a few days before caucuses and primaries get underway, they're not.

She points to recent complaints from the secretaries of state in Ohio and Colorado that declared their brands of electronic voting machines unfit for use.

Last month, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, compared her state's machines to a car in need of repair.

"They have done the job in the past with difficulty," she said of the machines, "and I could probably best analogize it to a vehicle with a bad axle -- that at some point the wheels are going to fall off and we're just going to be hopeful that in using them for one more election that we'll be able to get through."

As previously reported by RAW STORY, Brunner has recommended that Ohio voters from counties with touch-screen machines be able to request a paper ballot during the state's March primary.

Colorado's Republican Secretary of State, Mike Coffman, went so far as to decertify three of the four voting equipment manufacturers in his state last month, citing the machines' inaccuracy and the possibility that they could be hacked.

"At the end of the day, what I think is most important is that the voters have confidence that this equipment is secure from being tampered with, and that their votes can be accurately counted," he told CNN. Coffman says that a software patch could correct some of the problems, and is meeting with the machines' manufacturers to ensure that the fix is made ahead of the state's August primary.

A December report on voting security conducted by the state of Ohio found that magnets in electronic devices such as a Palm Pilot could be used to prevent the registration of votes for specific candidates or prevent a vote entirely.

On Monday, an undecided Iowa voter asked Democratic contender Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) if he would fight to contest a "dirty election."

"I intend to whoop 'em so good that it won't even be close and they can't steal the election," Obama said. The candidate later added that "If this thing is close, we will fight it tooth and nail till the end. The nice thing is, I'm a voting-rights attorney as well as a civil rights attorney."

This video is from CNN's Situation Room, broadcast on January 1, 2008.