Report blasts e-voting in midterm election

E-voting critics say machines caused late openings, data retrieval losses and machines glitches.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor

Three anti-evoting advocacy groups have released a report that says electronic voting machines gave the country not more accurate elections but rather late poll openings, data-retrieval errors and widespread machine failures, The Houston Chronicle reports.

The report (PDF), released by Voter Action, VotersUnite.Org and VoteTrust USA, looked at more than 1000 complaints from 36 states.

"The evidence presented indicates that electronic voting in its current form is systematically flawed and will require significant corrective measures to remedy the problems that have been exposed."

In the Houston area, however, elections officials dismiss the charges the electronic elections were a failure. David Beirne, a spokesman for Harris County Clerk Beverly Kaufman, said:

"Failure will happen. Critical failures are ones in which voters are turned away. By and large, looking at the last general election, we consider it a success."

"We were able to process voters — it might not have been within 10 minutes," Beirne said. "But everyone has to understand Election Day is a 12-hour period."

But a Houston Democratic state representative, Garnet Coleman, was less sanguine.

He said his office fielded numerous calls on Election Day from irate voters unable to vote when machines were down for several hours at a Third Ward voting site.

"People vote before work, and if the poll is not open by 7, there are a lot of lost votes," Coleman said. "I have great concerns about the system and have from Day One."

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