Cathy Cox is obviously lining up to follow in her boss Lewis Massey's steps to become a Diebold lobbyist. She outlines 3 choices for Georgia all of which involve Georgia giving more Millions of Dollars to Diebold. Even with all the evidence that Diebold cannot accurately count the votes. Let's hope for Cathy's sake that Karen Handel does not win the election for GA SOS, because that will be a day of reckoning for Miss Cox. But Karen Handel is the BEST choice for Georgia's SOS, she is honest and she will do the right thing if elected!!!
I'm quite certain, Cathy Cox will be defending Diebold from her jail cell one day soon. The woman is a traitor and having lost the bid for Governor no longer has one ounce of power in the Georgia political system. One day she'll realize that she got shafted by the same system of crooks she's been defending. Either way, the citizens will not forget the day she called us "Entertainment" in the February Town Hall Meeting in Decatur...
Cox is going down just like Diebold and now it's only a matter of time.
Ballot backup will cost millions
By CARLOS CAMPOS
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 09/28/06
Making sure every vote counts in Georgia will come with a hefty price tag.
Secretary of State Cathy Cox recently submitted a cost proposal to lawmakers and Gov. Sonny Perdue, saying it would cost the state between $19.5 million and $75 million to provide voters with a paper trail allowing them to verify ballots cast on electronic voting machines.
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Georgia has already spent about $75 million in federal funds to make the switch to statewide electronic voting in 2002.
But a growing mistrust of touchscreen voting — in Georgia and across the nation — and the machines' potential susceptibility to fraud has led to a push for a voter-verified paper audit trail.
The paper record would scroll out of the voting machine, similar to a grocery store receipt, listing voters' ballot choices made on the touchscreen. The voter would then be asked to verify that the receipt matches their computer selections, but would not be allowed to take the paper with them. The receipts could later be tabulated in the case of recounts or random audits.
Georgia's voting machines do not produce such a paper trail, and would either have to be retrofitted or replaced, options that could not be put into place in time for the Nov. 7 general election.
"Recent advancement in technology in the industry has provided an opportunity to increase voter confidence in the use of electronic voting equipment through the addition of a [paper trail]," Cox wrote in a letter submitted to Perdue and legislative budget writers. "This technology comes at a significant cost and, obviously, it is up to you, the next Secretary of State and the legislative leadership to weigh the cost versus the benefit of increased voter confidence."
Cox initially opposed paper trail technology, arguing that it was unnecessary and potentially costly. But she changed her position last year prior to making a failed run for governor.
Support, but no money pledged
Key state legislators, as well as Gov. Sonny Perdue, have expressed support for a voter-verified paper audit trail. But no one has yet committed the money for such a project, though it's early in the state budget process.
In trying to put a cost on the project, Cox sought estimates from Diebold Election Systems, the manufacturer of Georgia's 24,757 voting machines. Diebold estimated that retrofitting Georgia's machines would cost about $19.5 million. Buying new machines currently available with paper trail technology would run about $66 million, if the state traded in its current units. Purchasing Diebold's top-of-the-line machines, still under development, would cost $75.2 million.
A spokeswoman for the governor repeated Perdue's support for the concept, but could not say if he plans to include money for the paper trails in his budget proposal to be released in January. This year's state budget is about $18.6 billion.
"There are a number of options on how this can be accomplished and we'll be considering those in the budget cycle this year," said Heather Hedrick.
State Rep. Ben Harbin (R-Evans), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which oversees the budget process, indicated support for paper trails.
"Making sure we have safe and secure elections is always going to be a priority," Harbin said. "Before we do anything, we need to get accurate research from people who do this [retrofitting], not just what [Cox] is throwing out."
"We've also got to know who is going to pay for it," he added, "but ultimately we will wind up deciding it's worth the expense."
So far, the state has used federal funds obtained through the Help America Vote Act to upgrade voting technology. That money has been depleted, though Cox spokesman Chris Riggall said states are lobbying Congress to provide more.
States seeking reimbursement
This week, three Democratic U.S. senators proposed a bill that would reimburse states that provide paper backup records for voters who use electronic voting machines, The New York Times reported.
"If someone asks for a paper ballot, they ought to be able to have it," co-sponsor Barbara Boxer of California told the newspaper. But the legislation might not pass before the November elections.
Randy Evans, a Republican member of Georgia's State Election Board, recently said he had lost confidence in electronic voting machines' ability to accurately record votes. Evans said his concerns stem from a steady stream of studies by academics and computer security experts who have concluded the machines are vulnerable to fraud.
Evans proposed a series of hearings to solicit input from the public and from computer security experts who claim voting machines can be easily manipulated to alter election results. Cox, a Democrat, has steadfastly defended the integrity of Georgia's machines, saying an exhaustive series of internal and external checks would detect such fraud.
But the election board agreed to hold the hearings after the election, possibly in December.
Staff writer James Salzer contributed to this article.