By John Gideon on 3/19/2006, 4:18pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon, of VotersUnite and VoteTrustUSA

The "DVN Top 5" is a feature in the weekly voting newsletter of VoteTrustUSA. The March 13 edition can be found here. The selection of what will be the "Top 5" for each week and where it goes on the list is all mine. The fact that you may disagree with my choices is great because it shows that you have been reading the DVN articles that I've posted throughout the week here on The BRAD BLOG!...

#5 � As reported on Friday by the Washington Post, Maryland Gov. Ehrlich is doing all he can to find the money in the state budget to bring optical-scan voting into the state. The state House has already voted to allow the state to lease optical-scan machines before the November elections. The state Senate, however, has other ideas and they have targeted that money to an electronic poll book adjunct to the Diebold touch-screen machines. In the meantime the Democrat dominated State Board of Elections is doing all they can to not have verifiable elections in the state.

#4 � Meanwhile in New Jersey the reliability of Sequoia voting machines and of the company itself is being questioned in court. As reported on Friday by both The Times of Trenton and The Star-Ledger, Sequoia's Vice President of Sales, Howard Cramer, took the stand to defend his companies product and to respond to questions from plaintiffs attorney, Penny Venetis. Cramer told the court that Sequoia was developing a new printer (to be used on the Advantage DRE?) but under examination by Venetis he admitted that they were still working on bugs in the prototype and they could not guarantee that it would be commercially available.
This is a "two-front" court case at this time. The hearing last week was in county court and is limited to whether the state can meet the Jan. 1, 2008, deadline for having voting machines that produce a paper audit trail. Meanwhile, a state appeals court has reserved judgment on whether the machines used at the polls are so unreliable they violate the constitutional rights of voters. Before it rules, it wants to know whether the entire controversy is moot because all machines will soon produce paper trails that can be used to verify the accuracy of their tallies. It ordered the county court to find out.
The county court case should finish early next week and the appeals court has scheduled a hearing for 24 March.

#3 � What is a county to do when the state has ordered them to comply with the Help America Vote Act, they have contracts or verbal agreements with the vendors, and the vendors suddenly announce that they cannot provide machines and state required training on those machines in enough time for the state's primary? That is a question being asked all over the state of Pennsylvania.
Advanced Voting Solutions, Elections Systems and Software and Danaher have all either told their customers they cannot be ready by the state's May primary or they are not absolutely sure they will be ready.
Carbon Co. has been told by AVS that they may not be able to deliver enough machines for the primary.
ES&S has told Luzerne Co. that they cannot make delivery of machines for the primary.
Bucks Co. has set their minds on Danaher but Danaher is not sure they will have enough machines available to support a May primary election.
These are just a few of the counties that may be in a bind because the vendors spent their time selling machines and have not looked at whether they can manufacture the machines they are selling. And, remember that Sequoia told Ion Sancho in Leon Co. FL that they could not provide machines because they were over-extended.

#2 � After reports of failures of ES&S memory cards in Summit Co. Ohio, on March 9 and March 10 the report of failures comes from North Carolina. As reported in BRAD BLOG 1000 bad memory cards were found in the state and the reasons for failure of the cards has changed from just a low or dead battery issue to now being "read back errors" unrelated to the battery issue.
And in a side issue the EAC has again decided that it is better to bury their heads in the sand rather than to do their job and force ES&S to warn all of their customers or recall all of their memory cards.

#1 � On Monday, the
Secretary of State met with Ion
in a meeting that was supposed to have been public but ended-up being "behind closed doors". The Associated Press and Tallahassee Democrat have both filed protests over this issue.
Finally, the support for Ion Sancho has been overwhelming. Members of the County Commission received thousands of emails from supporters across the country. So many, in fact, that the commission ended-up giving Ion unanimous support.