Texas secretary of state pushing e-voting - hard

Likely candidate spends $3 million in taxpayer funds to push digital technology.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor

In many states, the verdict is still out on electronic voting machines, but if Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams has his way, his state will vote digital in all coming elections, reports The Statesman.

Williams has taken his pro-electronic voting machine message on the Web and elsewhere to the tune $3.3 million in taxpayers dollars. Williams, a Weatherford car dealer, high-dollar fundraiser for President Bush and appointee of Gov. Rick Perry, is considered a likely candidate for statewide office in 2010.

The Help America Vote Act states that voters must be educated about the new machines. VOTEXAS, is Texas's answer to that act and includes radio spots and 15- and 30-second TV commercials.

"Like many other things in our lives today, voting has changed," Williams says in the spot. "It's now easier, faster and more secure. I'm Roger Williams, Texas secretary of state, reminding you to vote Texas," says Williams in the commercial.

There is also the votexas.org Web site where visitors can try out the types of electronic machine being used in their counties.

If a voter has managed to avoid Williams' message so far, there is always the chance they could come upon the 33-foot motor coach equipped with electronic voting machines. The bus is visiting 40 cities around the state.

All this buttering up the voter seems to ignore the fact that many states are questioning electronic voting, especially touch-screen machines.

"Taxpayer dollars are being used to promote the use of the most insecure voting system ever used," said Vickie Karp with Vote Rescue, an Austin-based group that opposes electronic voting.
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