Recently Certified Machines Never Tested in an Election, Voters to be Guinea Pigs This November...
By John Gideon on 10/25/2006, 1:23pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the city of Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners has decided that they may hold back payment on their new voting machines because they are afraid of 'potential glitches.'

Cook County's election board, a separate entity, will not be paying their portion of the $26M still owed to Sequoia until after the election in two weeks. Now the city has openly voted, at least for now, to see what happens in the election before they make a decision to make their final payment.

The guinea pig voters may end up giving up their democracy in the bargain, but at least they may save a few dollars!

Sequoia's president, Jack Blaine, told the paper that he felt the company had done all they could and that they deserved to be paid. As the Trib reports...

Earlier payments were temporarily held after equipment snafus and a lack of sufficient poll worker training led to a virtual meltdown in the March primary. Election officials have since boosted worker training and demanded many repairs to the machinery and software.

Officials also questioned Sequoia about problems some early voters experienced when they inserted a key card into touch-screen machines. Officials said the machines gave error messages in some cases when voters inserted the cards incorrectly. In other cases, the cards created errors if an election worker or voter smudged them with greasy fingers.

No wonder the city wants to wait. In fact one needs to ask why the city is even planning to use these machines. The system has never been used in any election previously, a fact that seems to have escaped the Trib just as it has the rest of the local MSM.

The voting system to be used in Chicago and Cook County has just gone through federal Independent Test Authority testing and was only recently certified for use by the state of Illinois. Now we hear that voters are having problems with key cards. I guess a new part of Sequoia's voting system should be a "Handi-Wipe" dispenser.

But the real question is and should be; what about the voters?

City and county officials may have saved themselves from paying for a system that doesn't work but the voters are being asked to 'beta test' that system in a live election --- with billioins of dollars on the line --- and problems with the system will be lost votes and democracy lost. Again.