Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org and VoteTrustUSA.Org
According to a January 3 article on VoteTrustUSA, Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron delayed the purchase of 800 Sequoia Edge touch screen voting machines that some New Mexico counties had chosen to meet federal accessibility requirements.
On January 5 Voter Action amplified and corrected the statements of the Secretary. In their press release, Voter Action said:
"The Secretary of State has said the reason to buy the Sequoia AVC Edge touchscreen voting machines is to make voting easier for disabled voters, as required by the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA). In fact, the Edge machines fail to accommodate the disabled or meet HAVA requirements, as shown in a powerful and detailed expert affidavit filed by the plaintiffs. In addition, the machines lack printers to produce voter verifiable and auditable paper ballots, as required by the New Mexico Election Code, and do not accurately record and count votes, as required by the New Mexico Constitution. To the contrary, the Sequoia Edge voting system has a record of losing thousands of votes, switching votes, and failing to record votes cast in Spanish."
NOTE: There is presently NO Sequoia voting system that meets the presently in force voting systems standards. The best that Sequoia can do is to meet standards that are 15 years old. Today this reporter called the Election Assistance Commission and I was told that Sequoia has nothing close to federal qualification at this time. This means that counties who have purchased their voting machines on the promise of being compliant by January 1, 2006 cannot meet the Help America Vote Act of 2002 accessibility mandates.