Voting machines are secure, says Garfield County clerk
Despite concerns about possible fraud in the November election with the use of electronic voting machines, Garfield County Clerk Mildred Alsdorf said she’s confident that won’t happen here. A group of 13 citizens has filed a lawsuit in state court that challenges the security of machines made by four companies, including Hart InterCivic, Inc., which manufactures the machines used in Garfield County. The suit contends the machines were certified improperly by the Secretary of State’s office and are vulnerable to tampering and thereby to fraud and error.Alsdorf said the machines – there will be one each of the ESlate and EScan machines in each of 10 county polling places on Nov. 7 – are kept under lock and key until the election judges take them to the polling places.The ESlate shows the ballot on a computer screen and voters move through the ballot using a wheel device on the front of the machine. Paper ballots are fed into the EScan, which tallies them automatically.”They are kept in a locked room and I have the key,” Alsdorf said. She also said the counting mechanism in each machine is removed and also kept in a locked room.On election night, “my judges will be sitting there and watching every move,” she added.Voters will have the option to use the electronic machines or vote on a traditional paper ballot. When they come in to the polling places, if they wish to vote electronically, each voter will be given an access code they will enter into the machine before they can begin voting on the ballot, Alsdorf said.It is possible to cast more than one vote per office or ballot question, but the machine notes that and alerts the voter when more than one vote has been cast. The machines record and tally the votes on an electronic card that is inserted into each machine by the election judges. Both types of machines have paper tallies that can be used to verify the electronic counter, Alsdorf said.In addition, 48 hours after the election, the Secretary of State will notify Alsdorf of an audit of select voting machines. Votes recorded by the electronic cards will be verified against the paper tally for a particular candidate on ballots cast in a given machine in a given polling place.The same thing happened during the primary and the audit checked out between the paper and electronic recorders, Alsdorf said. Any apprehension Alsdorf has is not about the voting machines.”I feel very confident with our equipment, but I would love everyone to vote absentee because the ballot will be huge,” Alsdorf said. Voters will see a local slate of 12 candidates and 12 ballot questions, in addition to state candidates and questions.Alsdorf urged voters to send in a change of address if they have moved, so registration lists can be brought up to date. Voters can send a letter or fax with their name, new address, date of birth and signature to Mildred Alsdorf, Garfield County Clerk and Recorder, 109 8th St., Room 200, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 or fax to 970-947-1078.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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