The consensus seemed to be no, they weren't, but there was less certainty about what to do about it.
The Charleston County Democratic Party arranged the forum on the electronic voting machines, which several leaders have called into question after last year's shocking primary win by unknown Democratic Senate candidate Alvin Greene against former judge and Charleston County Councilman Vic Rawl, a former circuit judge.
Rawl, one of the panelists, said this issue isn't about him but instead about the sanctity of the principle of one-man one-vote.
"From every expert I talked to, that (primary result) was an aberration," Rawl said. "If that aberration was contrived or accidental, we seriously need to get rid of that machine."
State Democratic Party Executive Committee member Susan Yarborough Smith began her remarks by paraphrasing Communist leader Josef Stalin, saying, "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."
For six years, the state's voters have used about 12,000 iVotronic touch-screen machines made by Election Systems & Software, a Nebraska-based company.
Frank Heindel, a Charleston businessman who has launched his own investigation of the machines, noted there were thousands of error messages on Charleston County machines in the 2010 elections. Also, he noted that a different error led to 1,389 extra votes in statewide races in Colleton County.
However, [State Sen. Phil] Leventis, [D-Sumter] and Sen. Raymond Cleary, R-Georgetown, said the Legislature won't do anything unless it is pressured to. Cleary noted lawmakers are satisfied with the outcome of their own elections: They won.
As I say, that about sums it up. "They won," so most of the lawmakers who would be the ones to force voting system reform, don't much care. That, even after the disastrous Democratic U.S. Senate primary last year, which The BRAD BLOG covered in great detail as it all shamefully unfolded. (Search "Vic Rawl" or "Alvin Greene" here for some of that coverage).
But for those who would like a few more details on those "1,389 extra votes in Colleton County," as mentioned in the article above, as well as --- perhaps even more disturbing --- some 13,500 votes apparently missing entirely from Charleston County, please read on...