Voting company withheld info from IN officials

MicroVote disabled straight-party ticket voting in order to get machines certified but neglected to tell state elections officials. County officials unpreturbed.

Indiana voters trying to vote a straight-party ticket in the state's primary ran into a little glitch - a software glitch in machines made by MicroVote General Corp. The company recently confessed to the Indian Election Commission that 5,000 of its machines sport a bug that prevents voters from voting for all candidates from a single party, the Associated Press reports.

It's not even a bug. The company intentionally disabled straight-party voting to enable the machines to be certified but didn't tell election officials.

“I am disturbed by their lack of candor, and the commission is disturbed by their lack of candor,” said commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, who sent a three-page letter to every county election official using MicroVote’s Infinity system.

“I don’t know if they just thought they would just get it fixed or no one would notice or what,” Wheeler said.

If MicroVote hadn't turned off straight-ticket voting, the machines would have allowed voters in split precincts casting a straight-ticket ballot to vote illegally for a candidate outside of the area where they live.

Time constraints before the primary led an independent lab, Colorado-based CIBER, to recommend that the straight-ticket function be disabled, said MicroVote attorney John R. Price.

“They said you can either spend the time to fix it now or disable it and we’ll fix it later,” Price said. “That was an easy call. MicroVote said, ‘We’ll disable it now and we’ll fix it later.’ ”

County elections officials, naturally, are not concerned. Jeanne Nicolet, assistant director of the Allen County Election Board, said the machines are being fixed and her country is so confident in the machines, it plans to purchase more.

Election officials in Adams and Huntington counties, which exclusively use the Infinity machines, also weren’t concerned about the fall election. Adams Clerk Nan Nidlinger said because the machines were certified last week, she trusts they will work properly.