Monday, November 1, 2004

Poll: Voters show a fair amount of skepticism

By Alexa H. Bluth, Sacramento Bee, November 1, 2004


More than a third of California voters are wary of new electronic voting systems in use here and throughout the nation, and a fifth have little confidence the presidency will be decided fairly, according to a new statewide Field Poll.

"What we have here is an unusually somber view of the electoral process," said survey Director Mark DiCamillo. "There's a fair amount of skepticism that what we have in place may not actually produce a legitimate outcome."

Voters particularly are skeptical about electronic, touch-screen voting machines that will be used Tuesday for the first time in parts of California and other states.

More than a third of those polled said they are not confident in the integrity of the new machines.

"I am concerned about the whole electronic voting issue. No paper trail bothers me an awful lot," said Maureen Rooke, 47, a Republican from Porterville.

Specifically, Rooke said, she is worried about hacking or other tampering that might skew the vote.

"My son-in-law is active with computers, and I know what he can do with them so ... I don't have any faith in that at all," she said. "Somebody might win who hasn't really won."

Democrats and nonpartisan voters were less confident in the voting systems than Republicans, the poll found. Among GOP voters, one in four expressed uneasiness about the machines.


The survey's findings are based on telephone interviews with 1,216 registered voters conducted Oct. 21 through Wednesday. The survey has a sample of error of 2.9 percentage points.

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