In Alaska, Democrats warn voters off touch-screens

Party finds Diebold machines suspicious, but touch screens are really intended only for disabled voters.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor

The debate over electronic voting machines is getting overtly political, at least in Alaska. There, the Democratic Party is telling voters to stay away from the Diebold touch-screen voting machines Alaska is using, local station KTUU reports.

“It is troubling, the reports that are coming in from other jurisdictions, such as the recent election in Ohio that was examined, where they found 10 percent of the ballots were mangled, missing, otherwise compromised. That could make a difference in a close election,” Kay Brown with the ADC said.

The US Election Assistance Commission assured the Democrats and voters that everything is A-OK.

“These machines have been used successfully and they can be trusted, and I think people that have question about it here in Alaska can vote by paper. But I do think that anyone should be allowed to vote on this equipment and have trust and confidence, and they should have, and I think they will have tomorrow,” said Paul DeGregorio (right) of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Adds the Anchorage Daily News:

The state bought more than 500, one for each of the 439 polling places, plus spares, according to the Division of Elections. Most voters will still use either optically scanned or hand-counted paper ballots.

The touch-screen machines are intended for people who are visually impaired or disabled, but anyone can use them, according to the division. They feature large-print, high-contrast and audio-only ballots, and someone with physical impairments can use "pointer sticks" to vote on these machines.

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