Mercury News: State curbs use of e-vote. California
Secretary of State Kevin Shelley on Friday banned the use of
touch-screen voting machines in the November election unless they meet
stringent security measures. He barred outright the use of a new
Diebold electronic voting system in Kern, San Diego, San Joaquin and
Solano counties. Ten other counties — including Santa Clara and
Alameda — will only be permitted to use touch-screen voting if they
provide a paper receipt for digital ballots cast or meet 23 security
conditions, including disconnecting the machines from phone lines and
Dan Gillmor says: “This is
amazingly good news, and shows that Shelley has been, in effect,
radicalized by the outrageous behavior of the voting-machine industry.
The companies selling their balloting snake oil went too far, and now
they’re going to have to do the right thing.
Most notably in Shelley’s announcement yesterday, he said he’d referred
the case of the notorious Diebold Election Systems to the attorney
general for possible criminal, not just civil, prosecution. The record
is already clear that Diebold has — at absolute best — been
irresponsible and has dissembled about what it’s been doing in
California (and who knows how many other states).
Had Diebold not been so over the top, Shelley might have allowed the
2004 election to proceed as planned even in counties using non-Diebold
machines. The requirement for a voter-verifiable paper trail had not
been scheduled to take effect for two more years.
Now, faced with an industry that insists on pretending all is well when
all is blatantly not well, he’s doing the right thing early. The paper
trail will now have to work this year, or the machines won’t be
Predictably, local voting officials — the same people who’ve been so
negligent in adopting an unproven, maybe dangerous technology — are
screaming about the unfairness of it all. They’re partly responsible
for this fiasco. They should stop complaining and get to work. We’re
only talking about the core of our republic here.”