CO decision on e-voting causes confusion among voters

Federal certification is insufficient standard to guarantee security, ruling says, and voters are uncertain whether to use machines or vote absentee. State officials offer reassurances.

After a judge castigated state officials for lax e-voting security measures, while ruling to allow e-voting machines in the general election, Coloradans head to polls in November with the lowest level of confidence in recent memory, The Denver Post says, quoting e-voting experts.

"When you have these machines of dubious quality - and dubious just says we don't know - and you have a really tight election, then everybody wants to go look under the covers and see if they can throw the election into doubt," said Dan Wallach, a voting machine expert.

The case is important because the judge said that federal certification doesn't mean the machines are secure. "Whenever you hear an assertion from an election official of why you should trust their machines," Wallach said, "inevitably it boils down to 'because they are federally certified."'

But in his ruling, Manzanares said, "The evidence is that there were pretty significant areas at the federal level where such testing simply wasn't done."

While Democrats urge residents to vote absentee, state officials are spinning safety and security.

"I think the voters can be confident," Deputy Secretary of State Bill Hobbs said after the ruling.

Scott Doyle, the Larimer County clerk and recorder, said the primary showed not only that electronic machines performed well, but also voters preferred them. "There were things being said about this equipment well in advance of the primary," Doyle said, but "they simply wanted to vote on those machines - as much as 3 (voters) out of 4 depending on the polling place."