Feds Said to Approve Return to Lever-Style Voting Equipment!
[UPDATED] Voting Company Danaher Reportedly Misled State! ALSO: CT is Home to HAVA Author Sen. Christopher Dodd!
By Brad Friedman on 1/4/2006, 2:31pm PT  

Great news! Just in from WTHN.com in Connecticut...

There likely will not be a high-tech voting machine in your future this year. After announcing late last year that Connecticut's 3,300 mechanical, lever-style voting machines could no longer be used, the secretary of the state reversed herself. It's all about a big foul-up by companies bidding for Connecticut's business.
"I am stopping the purchasing process for electronic voting equipment in Connecticut," Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz. "The state will use lever voting machines in the 2006 election."

After a much publicized, public testing of modern electronic voting technology late last year, it was determined that none of the high-tech devices met all of the requirements of new state and federal rules. In addition to being user friendly for those with disabilities, voters must be able to see the entire ballot all at once and there must be a voter verifiable paper record of their vote. Not even one of the machines tested qualified.

So the secretary of the state announced the process must start all over again.

At our invitation, two professors of computer science from a group called True Vote Connecticut watched. They had tried to raise the red flag on the electronic machines. Their complaints were dismissed last month by Secretary Bysiewicz, but today they learned that their observations were right on the money.

And, in a message that we hope other states and counties will also hear loud and clear now that the 1/1/06 deadline for "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA) money has now passed, the article adds:

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says the feds are okay with this move because the state made a good faith effort to get new voting machines.

So we can now add Connecticut to the growing list of American states and counties, including:

- Leon County, FL
- Volusia County, FL
- St. Louis County, MO
- The State of California
- The State of N. Carolina

...amongst those who seem, at least partially, to be coming to their senses of late vis a vis the absurd proposition of instituting unsecured, uncertified, un-transparent, hackable, secret software to count votes in our once-great American democracy!

(Hat-tip to BRAD BLOG emailer Robert R.!)

UPDATE 1/5/05: More details today from AP:

She said the finalist in the bid process, Simsbury-based Danaher Controls, misled the state and had not yet sought proper certification to meet state and federal requirements. Bysiewicz's office made the discovery during final negotiations with the company.

Other voting machine companies, she said, also failed to meet the state's needs. Eight firms responded to the state's request for proposals.

"Unfortunately we were unable to find qualified vendors," she said, adding that no company could provide a certified electronic machine that displays a voter's entire ballot and provides a paper receipt that he or she can verify.

We were remiss in pointing out originally, by the way, that Connecticut is home to Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd, one of the authors of the original crappy "Help America Vote Act" (HAVA). We suspect he can't be too happy about his home state sticking with the older machines instead of caving to HAVA's many flaws. Oh, well. Too bad.