Tuesday, May 16, 2006
voting machine problems in pennsylvania
This article from the inquirer mostly talks about philadelphia county, which is not one of the 16 counties who began to use new diebold machines today. philadelphia uses older "push button" machines (danaher 1242), which also seem to have a lousy record from what I can tell. anyone here know if they have a verified paper trail?In Philadelphia, Deputy City Commissioner Edward Schulgen said more than 100 of the city's approximately 3,500 machines were not working when voting began.
"We've been busting our chops from the first opening of the polls," Schulgen said.
He also said the problems were likely due to human error. Either poll workers started the machines wrong in the morning or mechanics tightened screws inside the machines too tightly.
At least one machine was still functioning in most divisions, he said, but about 20 polling places were without machines for a portion of the day. Voters were given provisional ballots.
Bernard Bibbs, judge of elections in Germantown, was monitoring elections at St. Francis of Assisi when both of the polling place's machines sputtered out. He said they were down from about 7 to 11 a.m.
"Some people went home without voting," he said. "It was kind of shocking."
these types of incompetence-related problems, combined with whatever diebold-related hijinks may occur in november, make me very nervous.... very nervous indeed.
although, with new blood in harrisburg...
there may be hope for the long-stalled paper-ballot bill:State Sen. Robert Jubelirer, (R., Blair), the state's longest-serving president pro tempore, conceded defeat to Blair County Commissioner John Eichelberger, who led in a three-way primary.Earlier, Senate Majority Leader David J. Brightbill, (R., Lebanon) who helped pass the legislative pay raise that spurred an anti-incumbency movement, conceded his loss shortly before 10 p.m. He was defeated by Mike Folmer
There has been voter-verified paper ballot legislation pending in the General Assembly for months (HB 2000, SB 977) and it's blocked in committee somewhere, dooming Pennsylvanians to vote on unverifiable, unsecure machines.