One Small Victory for Democracy...
By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2005, 1:05pm PT  

Look what happens when people actually pay attention to their democracy. As reported in today's South Florida Sun-Sentinel...

After repeated embarrassing glitches at the polls, elections officials in Miami-Dade County have recommended scrapping the county's $24.5 million electronic voting system in favor of paper ballots with optical scanners.

Supervisor of Elections Lester Sola made the recommendation Friday in an initial analysis of the county's voting system and the feasibility of adopting a new one. In his report, Sola said that adopting the simpler system could save county taxpayers millions and restore voter confidence by providing a paper record of ballots cast.
Sola's report comes days after a voter advocacy group released a disparaging report that cited a litany of problems during last fall's general elections, among them malfunctioning voting machines.

We previously linked to a Miami Herald news article describing the report referred to above.

The report from earlier this month demonstrated, amongst other things, that "there were 5,917 cases where there were more votes than signatures" and that "In another 2,208 cases, there were more signatures than votes."

The voting machines in question, which failed the voters and costs millions of wasted tax dollars, were made by Electronic Systems & Software (ES&S), one of two companies (along with Diebold) which record and count 80% of the votes in the United States of America.

UPDATE: From Miami-Herald's article today on the same issue...

...if commissioners vote in favor of the change, it could be a public relations black eye for ES&S, which sold the machines to Miami-Dade in 2002 for $24.5 million.

Broward County also uses ES&S machines.

Dade is one of ES&S' biggest clients. The company has more than 40,000 units in 20 states.
In Broward, there is no effort to replace the [ES&S] iVotronics the county purchased for $17.2 million in late 2001.
''It doesn't really make any sense to put more money into these machines that nobody trusts,'' Sorenson said.

Either way, the county will continue to pay for its decision to buy iVotronics --- at least for the next seven years. It owes ES&S $20.5 million.

ATTENTION BROWARD COUNTY (and all other counties and Secretary's of State now using or considering purchasing from ES&S and other private and unaccountable voting machine companies): Save your tax payers' money NOW! Don't buy these pieces of junk from irresponsible companies like ES&S and Diebold!

FURTHER UPDATE: ES&S seems to be gaming the system further in what appears to be a specific bid by the company to supress sales of technology by AutoMARK which creates both a paper trail and assists disabled voters. ES&S entered an agreement with AutoMARK to help sell their machines, but appears to be in the business of doing precisely the opposite! Thanks to John Gideon of for his excellent work on this report exposing the chicanery that ES&S is up to!