Friday, January 18, 2008

Maryland to switch to optical-scan voting machines

That sound you hear is the collective sigh of relief of the voters of Maryland:
The state will abandon the touch-screen voting machines that have sparked years of protests and replace the system with devices that permit a manual recount.

Maryland purchased the machines in the wake of the 2000 Florida election. They have been criticized as unreliable and susceptible to tampering.

Gov. Martin O'Malley has proposed $6.8 million to buy optical-scan machines, which can read paper ballots filled in by voters with pencil or pen.

Election reform advocates praised the move, saying voters currently have no guarantee that their ballots would be properly counted by the state's ATM-style machines, which were manufactured by Diebold Inc.

"Our machines can easily be rigged in ways that are undetectable," said Robert Ferraro of SAVE our Votes, a nonpartisan group. "We were anxiously waiting to see if the governor put the money in his budget, and he did, so we are very pleased. Otherwise, we would have been stuck with a paperless system."
Unfortunately, they won't be available until 2012 ....


Cootamundra W said...

The year 2012 sounds like a loooong way off...

Meanwhile, in all of the states THIS year...

Sigh. (I am feeling very cynical today about the electoral process in this country.)

And another thing - I enjoy this blog.

Sue J said...

And another thing - I enjoy this blog.

You must be a hippie, too, then!

Cootamundra W said...

Thanks for the compliment!

Mauigirl said...

Hi Sue,
this is good news for Maryland. I hope more states adopt machines that support a real recount.

Re: the tiger in the previous comment string, I guess we're both hippies. I totally agree with your post. ;-) Seems strange that in I think 40 years that the SF Zoo has been in business this is the first time this happened. So my blame goes to the drunken taunting kids and my sympathy to the tiger. Sorry, Anonymous #1.

Sue J said...

Thanks, Mauigirl! The comments started getting really weird, so I closed them, that's the first time I've ever had to do that, but it was getting creepy -- all those anonymous people from a link on CNN, and some were saying really violent things when making their point.

Another favorite blogger of mine, Suburban Lesbian Housewife, did a post from a mother's perspective (as in, "What were you thinking? Did I have to tell you not to get high and then go yell at a tiger?!" and she got very similar comments. Check out her blog on the sidebar.

I guess there are a lot of us "hippies" out there!