Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Top elections official accuses counties of protecting voting 'turf'

By Don Thompson, Associated Press, 2/14/04 On February 5, California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley issued a directive to all DRE/touchscreen counties to implement several extra security measures, such as parallel monitoring and the posting of printed tallies outside precincts at the close of polls. Ten county elections officials responded to this directive with a letter on February 10 that questions the Secretary of State's authority and accusing Shelley of misleading the public about computerized voting risks.

Kevin Shelley told the AP, "I cannot understand why any public official would oppose these measures. The voters deserve no less."

Several DRE registrars did not sign the Feb. 10 letter, including those from Orange, Solano and Alameda counties. Shelley also directed the four counties using Diebold's TSx machines to make paper ballots available to voters who prefer them -- however, depending on how counties implement this directive, paper ballots may only be available as an alternative in one location, such as the county election office.

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