Voting machine snafus have

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November 5, 2006 12:47 p.m.
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Voting machine snafus have been reported during early voting in Florida’s 13th Congressional District, where Republican Vern Buchanan and Democrat Christine Jennings are vying for Katherine Harris’ open seat:

The voters who complained say they picked Jennings, but the 13th Congressional District had no vote registered for either Jennings or Republican Vern Buchanan when a screen reviewing their votes came up.

The voters all said the touchscreen machines allowed them to go back to the 13th District race and make a selection, and their vote was recorded properly in the end.

Similar problems cropped up in South Florida during early voting:

Broward Supervisor of Elections spokeswoman Mary Cooney said it’s not uncommon for screens on heavily used machines to slip out of sync, making votes register incorrectly. Poll workers are trained to recalibrate them on the spot — essentially, to realign the video screen with the electronics inside. The 15-step process is outlined in the poll-workers manual.

Can you imagine an ATM “slipping out of sync” after heavy usage? Billions of dollars worth of commercial transactions are successfully completed every day in this country by consumers involving far more complicated software and far more possible choices than an electronic voting ballot. There is simply no excuse for this kind of thing, and anyone who suggests it’s just par for the course was either sold a bill of goods or is selling one.

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