Voting Machine Mess-up Du Jour (Displayed 07/05/04)

Clayton County, Georgia. July, 2004. Diebold printery.

In violation of Georgia state law, Diebold delayed absentee voting by failing to deliver ballots to the county within the required time. The laws says:

The superintendent shall, as soon as practicable prior to each primary or election, but at least 45 days prior to any primary or general election other than a municipal primary or election, ... prepare, obtain, and deliver an adequate supply of official absentee ballots to the board of registrars or absentee ballot clerk for use in the primary or election.*

Because of redistricting, the time was shortened to 30 days, but still Diebold was late sending the ballots. On July 2, absentee voting still had not begun for the July 20 election. Diebold was supposed to deliver them on June 25; on July 1, they sent out a "partial shipment" with a promise to send the rest on July 5 -- 15 days before the election.

Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration Member Bob Bolia said the ballots were supposed to be delivered June 25, then Monday and now this coming Monday.

Other counties also experienced delays in receiving absentee ballots, but 18 days before the election, Clayton County still had not received any.

Those who don't get their votes in "would have recourse with the county," said Cara Hodgson, a public information officer with the Georgia Secretary of State's office.

... The delay will primarily affect overseas voters, Hodgson said. Clayton County is home to Fort Gillem, and Fort McPherson is only a few miles away, and the county has many soldiers overseas.

Diebold spokesman, David Bear, didn't know the cause of the delay, nor the day the ballots were supposed to ship, yet he said:

"I don't think it's a matter of anyone's fault."**

* Georgia Code. Chapter 21. Section 2-384.

** Delay could impact election. July 2, 2004. By Greg Gelpi.

See: Diebold in the News

Diebold Election Systems
... is committed to elections accuracy, security and integrity.
~ David Bear (June 10, 2004 News Release)