Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Poll workers struggle with e-ballots

Story from Forbes: "Poll Workers Struggle With E-Ballots".

New voting machines confounded some poll workers around the country on Election Day, and a combination of electronic glitches and human error forced some precincts to extend voting hours or switch back to paper ballots.

More than 80 percent of Americans were expected to cast some type of electronic ballot Tuesday, which was the deadline for major reforms mandated by the federal Help America Vote Act, passed by Congress to prevent a rerun of the 2000 election debacle.

With one in three Americans voting on a machine they had never used before, the effort to improve the integrity of the election system got off to a shaky start in hundreds of precincts from the Rockies to the Poconos. Long lines formed.

Forbes goes on to report that while many poll workers and election judges are confounded by the new machines, no major problems have occured.

"Lots of fender-benders, but no major tie-ups," said Doug Chapin, director of electionline.org, a nonpartisan group that tracks election problems. "It's been a steady drumbeat, but nothing that rises to the level of `This could compromise the results.'"

Still, frustrations abound at many voting centers and the usual reports of voter intimidation and manipulation have cropped up. We'll see how it turns out.