Voting Machine Mess-up Du Jour (Displayed 09/13/04)

Columbia County, Winsconsin. September, 2004. Advanced Voting Solutions.
Old voting machines fail at inopportune time.

Two central-count optical scan machines fail just before the primary election.

Columbia County Clerk Jeanne Miller said ballots in next week's primary election may be counted by hand if kinks aren't worked out of the county's voting machines by today. ...

They were "a little touchy" in April's elections, forcing the county to purchase new parts, Miller said. Since then, problems have compounded. Ballots have come out with roller marks, write-in votes are not being read and ballots have jammed, among other issues.

The county spends about $5,000 a year for voting machine maintenance. Miller has been in constant contact with a technician in Texas, telling him the problems and trying different solutions. If things "get desperate," she may request that he travel to Portage to look at the machines.

Miller said many problems may be software-related, rather than with the machines themselves. In that case, the maintenance company may not be able to help.

* Ballots jam county voting system. Capital Newspapers Portage Daily Register. September 8, 2004. By Jesse Hirsch.

See: WINVote in the News

As long as the ballots are paper,
votes can be counted by hand.
~ Ellen Theisen