Registrar Less Optimistic About Future of E-Voting

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(Stockton, CA)
Tuesday, November 22, 2005

In the wake of problems with Diebold's T-S-X touch screen voting machines, San Joaquin Registrar Deborah Hench still believes it's the best system for counting votes.
But once "very optimistic" the system would eventually be certified for use, Hench has tempered her prediction a bit.

"We've been battered so many times, now I'm just cautiously optimistic."

The most recent battering and the apparent catalyst for Hench modifying her position came Monday during a state hearing on E-voting, where dozens of critics challenged the reliability of the machines mainly because they don't produce a paper ballot.
Hench says those opposed to E-voting are few in number but have been effective in making their case.
"These are minority group. They are a vocal group, no doubt."

If San Joaquin's 16-hundred T-S-X machines, which are currently in storage, aren't certified, the county could try to modify the system, or cancel the six million dollar contract with Diebold.
Critics say the county should scrap the touch-screen machines and buy a paper ballot system from another vendor.