CO lawyer: Stop electronic voting

Lawsuit claims touch-screen machines are so insecure elections will be "trainwreck waiting to happen."

Touch-screen voting machines, required by law in many jurisdictions, are actually making elections less secure - indeed, says a Colorado attorney who filed a suit on behalf of 14 citizens, the system in that state is "headed for a train wreck," the Rocky Mountain News reports.

An expert would need just 2 minutes to reprogram and distort votes on a Diebold, one of four brands of computerized voting systems attacked in the suit, says attorney Paul Hultin. His firm, Wheeler Trigg Kennedy, has taken on the case pro bono for a group of 13 citizens of various political stripes.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Democratic Party urged voters to cast absentee ballots for the November election to avoid potential fraud. The party apparently was unimpressed with the verification of the machines' veracity after a key state official said that he certified the computer voting equipment even though he has no computer science education and did little security testing.

Deputy attorney general Maurice Knaizer says Colorado is protected against tampering because state law now requires a printout of each computer ballot. The printout can be reviewed by the voter and is kept at the machine for post-election audits and recounts.

But recent stories indicate that in many states the paper printouts may not be available. In Ohio's primary, pollworker error meant that no paper printouts were available in many precincts. And in Arizona, paper printouts will likely not be used because the secretary of state failed to submit procedures to the Justice Department.

The DA claimed that if Judge Lawrence Manzanares rules in favor of the plaintiffs in the suit, many counties will simply be unable to conduct elections. But Manzanares could simply choose to order Dennis to come up with additional security to prevent tampering, said Andy Efaw, one of the plaintiffs' attorneys.