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New Voting Machines - The Gift That Keeps On Costing PDF  | Print |  Email
By John Gideon,   
December 09, 2006

During hearings last year in which Salt Lake County's voting systems purchase decisions were being considered, citizens testified in writing and in person that DREs were the most expensive choice, and that the County should opt for precinct-based optical scan due in part to reduced ongoing maintenance and operations costs.


But county clerks found themselves constrained in part by the state's selection of a specific vendor. The ramifactions of those constraints are now being felt.


Recently Salt Lake City, Utah's KCPW News reported the following:

Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon, says the upkeep and storage of electronic voting machines is taking a toll on the county's budget:

"The federal government gave us money for new machines but they didn't give us money for storing the machines. They didn't give us money to hire new technicians for these machines."
The County budget for 2007, which is nearing completion, doesn't include money for more machines. Corroon says technical support and housing for existing machines has cost the county "millions and millions" of dollars already and he hopes the state and federal governments step up and help with the expense.
Utah: Encoder Errors Cause Delays PDF  | Print |  Email
By Daily Herald   
November 07, 2006

Voting Equipment: Diebold TSx touchscreen voting machines

Encoder problems at most, if not all, of the 118 voting stations left early morning voters standing in line for more than an hour waiting to cast their electronic ballots.

There were problems with the encoders at most, if not all, of the polls in Utah County, said Sandy Hoffmann, elections coordinator for Utah County, but all of the problems have been remedied.

Hoffmann said there was no indication that there would be any problems with the encoders. To fix the glitch, Hoffmann said one of the electronic voting machines at each polling location was taken out of sequence and turned into a large encoder.

"The encoder is the little device that programs the voter card," said Joe Demma, spokesman for Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert.

Read the Entire Article at The Daily Herald

More From Utah: Voting Machine Encoders Fail in Utah County PDF  | Print |  Email
By ABC4 Salt Lake City   
November 07, 2006
ABC reports:

Utah's Lt. Governor Gary Herbert says voting machine encoders, used to program individual user cards have been incorrectly programmed, causing delays for many voters, primarily in Utah County. Herbert says the problem is associated with voter card encoding machines, which have failed to function properly.

Herbert says one of the voting machines at each location can be used to encode the cards instead, and election workers have begun to utilize that function. Many voters have experienced delays, and have been told to come back later.

Some voters have opted to use paper ballots, which are also available at most, if not all polling locations. Herbert says the primary encoding machine problem has not been fixed, but provisional systems have been put in place and no one should be turned away.
Utah: Problems for Voters in Utah County; Delays in Salt Lake PDF  | Print |  Email
By Elizabeth Neff, Salt Lake Tribune   
November 07, 2006
Equipment: Diebold TSx touchscreen voting machines 

Utah County voters planning to cast their ballots on the way to work were stymied by technical problems with the state's new voting machines, while some in Salt Lake City also saw delays at the polls.
Robert Nelson was among those in Provo and other locations in Utah County who were unable to cast their votes using the new voting machines when the polls opened. After arriving at his polling location at 7 a.m., Nelson said he spent an hour and a half hoping the machines would be fixed.
"The workers were earnestly trying to get the machines to work, but not a one in our precint worked," Nelson said. "I work in Salt Lake City, so I couldn't wait for the machines to work."
Similar reports came in from other areas in Utah County, including Lindon.
Utah: County Clerk Refuses To Conduct Election With Diebold Machines PDF  | Print |  Email
By Patsy Stoddard, Editor, Emery County Progress   
April 03, 2006

This article was published in The Emery County Progress.


Emery County Clerk Bruce Funk accepts the Diebold voting machines on Dec. 27, 2005. He is disenchanted with the machines and possible problems with them.

What started as a routine Emery County Commission meeting on March 21 ended in a flash of anger from Bruce Funk, Emery County Clerk. The drama began last November when the Emery County Commission approved the use of Diebold Election voting machines. The state of Utah voted to use the Diebold as the machine of choice statewide. The state agreed to foot the bill for the purchase of the machines for the counties.


Emery County took delivery of the Diebold machines on Dec. 27, 2005.


At the Feb. 7 commission meeting, Funk reported to the commission on the testing of the Diebold election machines with Diebold personnel. At that time he reported that six of 40 machines had failed and two of those had been repaired and the other four sent back to Diebold. Funk said the state was supposed to have tested the machines before sending them to the county. Bad batteries and jammed printers as well as machines with old elections stored on them were among the problems cited. The state was supposed to send new machines to the county.


During the citizen concerns portion of the meeting on March 21, Funk presented new information regarding the machines. He said as the county clerk it is his duty and responsibility to make recommendations to the commission and that is not an easy task. During the past year he has done a lot of research regarding the Diebold machines. He was willing to be part of the plan if the technology was good for Emery County.


He said on Jan. 31 Diebold sent four people down to do the testing of the Emery County machines. Of the 40 machines tested, Funk rejected six machines. Diebold repaired two machines on site and took four machines back with them. With one of the machines the paper track was off which causes paper jams.


Funk said he took one of the machines to the clerk’s office so his staff could become familiar with the machine. This machine was among the ones rejected. Funk also said with the machines being unplugged for two weeks, he wanted to check the battery capacity of each machine and also check the paper feature to make sure it was working properly. He completed this process on 36 machines. Also he checked the machines for backup storage. Some of the machines contained seven megabytes of backup storage. The machines should hold between 25-28 megabytes of storage. Seven of the machines had eight megabytes of storage or less. Jeff Guymon, technology technician for the county checked the machines and cleared out past elections and increased the storage space from seven to 11 megabytes.


Funk was concerned about the past elections being on the machines, which he said proved the machines are not new.


Read the Entire Article at The Emery County Progress. 

Utah: Bruce Funk is an American Hero PDF  | Print |  Email
By Barbara Bellows-TerraNova   
April 03, 2006

Support Emery County Utah Clerk Bruce Funk. Click Here To Send an Email to the Emery County Commissioners.

Mr. Bruce Funk, Emery County Clerk, should be thanked, not attacked, and his story told accurately.

Bruce Funk is a responsible elected official who has paid attention to problems in other states, he recognized the danger to democracy if we depend on the accuracy of  machines that break down easily or can be hacked into, altering votes. That is why he brought in the Finnish computer security specialist Harri Hursti, and an expert from Security Innovation, Inc., a company whose clients include McAffee Security, Symantec Security, the Department of Defense, and Microsoft to examine the Diebold TSx voting machines that his county had been required to purchase by the state of Utah.

Currently, there is an effort to strong-arm Mr. Funk out of office. Last week, following Mr. Funk's announcement that he would not use the Diebold machines, Lt. Governor Herbert's Chief of Staff Demma, Utah elections officer Cragun and legal counsel from Utah Attorney General's office flew into Emery, accompanied by a representative and a tech man from Diebold who threatened the county with punitive actions for testing their equipment.

No one seemed concerned that the integrity of Utah voting is at risk.
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