ELECTIONS: The machinery | Arkansas Blog

ELECTIONS: The machinery

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Jiim Lagrone, the Republican candidate for secretary of state, called today to say his campaign had been hearing about election machine/procedure problems. Secretary of State Charlie Daniels, the lead state elections supervisor, says things are going smoothly. (His news release on the jump for hopeless junkies)

It's sad to say, but Lagrone needs a fiasco today to help propel his campaign. Voters don't, not incidentally including Charlie D.

Our experience with a touch-screen machine was fine. The paper-scanning machines seem to work as well as ever, which means there are always some glitches. An independent assessment will surely follow in the days ahead.

Oh, and yes, the count tonight is a BIG part of the assessment.

UPDATE: There are scattered problems, including some scanning problems, which are unrelated to new voting machinery. But there was a report of malfunctioning touch screens in Republican-run Benton County and the need to use scanner ballots, which ran short. If voters were turned away, that's a problem. But the counties have some responsibility on the printing end of things. All we know on this we heard on KARN radio, which is to local news as Fox is to national news. A Republican organ, in other words.


News release from:


Charlie Daniels
Arkansas Secretary of State

***************************************************

Voting Continues to Go Well, Focus Now on Tabulation

***************************************************



(LITTLE ROCK, ARK.) - Secretary of State Charlie Daniels continues to be
pleased with the performance of the state's new voting equipment as
Election Day enters its final stretch to its 7:30 p.m. closing.

"Overall, it's been going rather smoothly today," Daniels said during an
afternoon briefing at the State Capitol. "We're monitoring by the
minute, and I'm really pleased so far. From a technical perspective, the
new voting equipment is performing remarkably well."

Daniels' office has been in contact with counties throughout the day to
pinpoint any problem areas. Most of the issues reported so far occurred
during the poll-opening procedures. Poll workers have performed the
steps in training, he said, but this is their first chance to do it in
real time.

"As with any new technology, there's going to be a learning curve, and
we're pleased that ES&S technicians have been on site to help walk
trough those processes," Daniels said.

Janet Harris, deputy secretary for elections and public affairs, said
that there have been very few technical issues reported in the 68
counties that are using the iVotronic touch-screen voting machine. In
those cases, the on-site technicians have been able to respond quickly.
She said she was unaware of any situation where a voter was not able to
vote due to technical problems.

The next hurdle in the process will occur as workers close polling sites
at 7:30 p.m. and begin the tabulation process. Harris said that step is
another new process with new technology, so returns might be slower in
some counties, especially in the small number of counties that could be
hand-counting early or absentee ballots.

"We'll know later tonight how that process will go," Harris said.

Daniels will hold the final briefing today at 8:30 p.m. in the Old
Supreme Court Room at the State Capitol.



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