By Brad Friedman on 5/1/2008, 1:39pm PT  

Faced with extraordinarily bad press concerning her company's failed voting machines, which a NJ judge has now ordered to be independently examined (decidedly not by the "blonde nymph"-seeking dude Sequoia originally employed for their own "independent examination"), an impending hostile takeover by competitor Hart InterCivic, and her own boss's recent admission that the company doesn't even control the intellectual property rights to its own voting machines, Sequoia Voting Systems VP of Communications & External Affairs (and part owner), Michelle Shafer, has been left fairly desperate to find some "good news" lately with which to try and fool the company's clients.

But Never-Say-Die Shafer doesn't give up the ghost easily. So in a quick, if somewhat sad, bottom-of-the-barrel scraping article posted to her "Ballot Blog" at the Sequoia website this week, she attempted to trumpet the "Keystone State Success" for Sequoia, following last week's PA primary.

"Pennsylvania elections went very well last week," she writes. "We’ve had a chance to check in with our customers in York, Montgomery and Northampton counties, and it looks like it was a successful primary for all of them," blogged Shafer, before going on to quote the "success" of the company's voting systems, as reported by two different PA newspapers.

One selective quote, from one of the papers, sings the praises of Sequoia's AVC Advantage e-voting machines (the same ones which were found to have failed to tabulate votes correctly in NJ's recent Super Tuesday primary), because "Even the older people liked them."

But the same papers Shafer selectively quoted from also offered not-so-wonderful stories about the "success" of the company's machines in Pennsylvania.

Here's what Shafer --- who may as well tattoo a permanent "Kick Me!" sign on her back at this point --- seems to have forgotten to quote, from the very same articles she pointed to, in her blog item about them...

From the same Morning Call article from which Shafer quoted that "Officials reported no problems with" Sequoia's machines...

The day was not without mechanical glitches. When Brian Mack of Hanover Township, Northampton County, checked with poll workers right after casting his ballot on a new voting machine, he was told the vote hadn't been recorded.''They let me vote again,'' Mack said. ''But who knows how many other people voted and just left,'' not realizing that their votes hadn't been counted.

And from the same Express Times article from which Shafer quoted that "older people liked them"...

The line at Forks Township Elementary School was several dozen people deep and, most voters said, at least 20 minutes long. The reason?

"Not enough machines," volunteer Mary Lauer shouted out as she signed in a line of voters that seemingly never shortened.
At the Forks Township Community Center, poll workers said residents took their time getting acclimated to the new touchpad machines.

At the New Life Pentecostal Church on Easton's College Hill, one voter thought she was supposed to press the red "enter" button after each of her selections, said Al Kuebler, judge of elections there. The woman voted for a presidential nominee, Keubler said, but was unable to nominate candidates for other positions.

"She was not a happy camper," Keubler said.

Prior to running this item, as a courtesy, we asked Shafer for comment on the above, and to let us know if the machines in PA experienced the same inaccuracies discovered after the election in NJ. As usual, she failed to even offer us the courtesy of a "no comment" reply to our email.

And yes, given her history of deceptively changing items on the Sequoia website without notice, we've saved off a copy of her original blog item for safety.

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