The local NBC affiliate here in Cleveland (WKYC) has just reported on the evening news that Cuyahoga County Commissioners are looking at the possibility of dumping electronic voting machines. The November 7 election was the first and only time they've been used.
Above and beyond the money needed to purchase them, it cost the county more than $17 million to train workers, techs, and others involved in the Nov. election to use or troubleshoot the machines. Also included in that figure are replacement machines and certain parts (unspecified.)
County Commissioner Jimmy DiMora, also the county Democratic Chair, said that "a lemon, is a lemon, is a lemon." Despite an estimated 6300 machines available county-wide, the major complaint was, again, long lines and confusion inside the polling booth. An unamed consultant said that lines would be worse in the presidential election in '08.
Optical scanning, considered more effective in high voter turnouts, is being considered. County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones says mail in voting and increased early voting will also be on the table.
County Commissioners are aware of the costs involved in implementing a new system and that taxpayers have already paid for one new system. They fear the possibility of making cuts to human services programs.
A decision is expected by June '07.
My first diary - be gentle?