June 1, 2007 - Test results fail to sway critics of vote-counting machines
Paper: Press-Enterprise, The ( Riverside, CA)
Title: Test results fail to sway critics of vote-counting machines
Date: June 1, 2007
A public demonstration of the system Riverside County uses to count paper ballots confirmed the machines are working but failed to satisfy critics Thursday.
The registrar of voters agreed to hold the demonstration after a voting-integrity group and others complained about her decision to test the machines without public notification last month. Registrar of Voters Barbara Dunmore tested the machines, which scan and count votes from paper ballots, in anticipation of Tuesday's Riverside municipal election.
Doug Kinzle, assistant registrar, said the county is required to conduct that test publicly only for state - not local - elections, while the critics said the registrar of voters' office is required to inform the public of those tests in advance of all elections.
The April 23 test, known as the "logic and accuracy test," showed that the 20- to 25-year- old machines the county uses performed with 100 percent accuracy, county officials said.
Thursday's demonstration was in response to the complaints of Save R Vote, a Temecula-based group, and other critics, such as Green Party and Peace and Freedom Party members.
A small group of viewers gathered in the registrar of voters' main office to watch through a large glass window as an elections worker ran a stack of dummy ballots through the system that scanned and tabulated the votes. Then she projected the dummy votes on a large screen connected to her computer, but there was no verification that the results matched the votes marked on the ballots.
"This was all set up. This was a big dog and pony show," said Tom Courbat, one of the organizers of Save R Vote. "This wasn't reality."
KURT MILLER/THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE / (1) Assistant Registrar of voters Doug Kinzle, second from right, explains the test conducted on the vote-tabulating machines Thursday. Kinzle said the county is required to hold that test publicly only for state - not local - elections. (2) The Riverside County registrar of voters held a public test of vote-tabulating machines in response to complaints by Save R Vote, a Temecula-based group, and other critics, such as Green Party and Peace and Freedom Party members.
Author: MICHELLE DEARMOND
Copyright (c) 2007 The Press-Enterprise Co.