UniLect Fails to Impress State Elections Officials!
Touch-Screen Voting Goes Down in Flames in the Keystone State!
By Brad Friedman on 4/30/2005, 12:17pm PT  

(NOTE FROM BRAD: Catching up on a few items as time allows. Still mostly "off the grid" for the next several days, but jumping in when I can.)

You may recall the recent decertification of E-Voting machines made by the UniLect corporation in several Pennsylvania counties. That occured as a result of one good American citizen, Sheila Green, demanding an investigation into the Direct Electronic Response (DRE) voting machines in the state (oh, okay...Commonwealth) of Pennsylvania. The effort cost her just $450 and resulted in the decertification of PA's $1.2 million UniLect touch-screen voting machines.

The machines were decertified after the investigation, according to the Sec. of the Commonwealth's statement, because...

the System failed to sense screen touches multiple times and did not register nor record votes. The screen also "froze" and stopped accepting touches during the reexamination. The Department believes these malfunctions help explain why there were more than 10,000 instances where a vote was not counted in the three counties during the 2004 general election.

UniLect was generously allowed a chance to meet with the Department again to answer to the concerns revealed by the investigation. And now, after meeting with them, it looks like UniLect failed to meet the concerns according to a Press Release issued yesterday:

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 29 /PRNewswire/ --- Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro A. Cortes today issued the following statement regarding the decertification of the UniLect Patriot Direct Recording Electronic Voting System and its subsequent reexamination.

"As a result of a second reexamination of the UniLect Patriot Direct Recording Electronic Voting System, the decertification of the system that was issued on April 7, 2005 will remain in effect. In consideration of the upcoming Municipal Primary on May 17 and the interests of several parties, it was important for me to relay this decision quickly, so the Department of State can continue its work with Beaver, Greene and Mercer counties putting alternatives in place to ensure an accurate primary election. We remain committed to strong communication with the County Commissioners, and the voters in their counties so that no citizen is denied the right or opportunity to vote."

(Hat tip the good folks from VotersUnite.org for the info!)