By John Gideon on 10/5/2006, 3:31pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

On yesterday's show Kitty reported that Cuyahoga County, Ohio is concerned enough about their ability to count the votes that they have asked for assistance from an outside auditor. A good idea for sure. Also discussed is an ongoing investigation of one supplier of voting machines to Indiana counties; machines that were not certified for use in the state.

The text-transcript of Wednesday's segment on Lou Dobbs Tonight follows in full...

DOBBS: The public outcry over electronic voting machines is intensifying, election officials only now reconsidering how they will use e-voting equipment with only 33 days left before the midterm election. Some states are still trying to convince their voters there's nothing to worry about with the machines.

Kitty Pilgrim reports.


KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Cuyahoga County made itself infamous with its May primary, a demonstration on just how wrong electronic voting can go. Poll workers were poorly trained and confused by the new electronic equipment. Memory cards were lost. Vote tallies didn't match.

And now the county board of elections is requesting help from independent researchers, auditors and citizens to come forward to straighten out election problems and to monitor the results in November.

MICHAEL VU, CUYAHOGA COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS: The only way to learn from past mistakes is by implementing new solutions. So one of the things that we've done is talked with a number of citizen groups as well as interested organizations to get their input to move forward with November's election.

PILGRIM: Citizen groups from all across the country have rallied and formed organization in support of renewed vigilance on electronic voting. Citizens have sued for tighter regulations or to demand a paper trail.

For example, in Colorado, courts just ruled in favor of tightening security on machines and auditing results.

In Indiana, where 65 percent of voters will use touch screen systems, there is an ongoing investigation that one vendor sold uncertified software and electronic voting equipment to the counties.

The secretary of state can't comment on the investigation, but says the testing and certification process has been beefed up.

TODD ROKITA, INDIANA SECRETARY OF STATE: We not only are going to rely on the federal certification, but we're also going to do our own certification from now on. We need more technical expertise to make sure that we can verify what's being sold to us as a state.

PILGRIM: Some election officials are rethinking their blind commitment to the technology that was hastily purchased without critical review.


PILGRIM: And the vigilance is increasing, but many states still have far to go. Larger cities have already made the switch to electronic voting and have some experience with it.

But in the last 12 months, electronic voting has been adopted by smaller jurisdictions. They have fewer resources and often less expertise, and the standards and training are sometimes harder to implement --- Lou.

DOBBS: And whether large or small, the communities across this country, the results are certainly uneven at best over the course of this experience.

Kitty, thank you, as always, for your important reports on our democracy as risk. Kitty Pilgrim.