Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Northwestern Coverage of the Diebold Debate

Winnebago County rejects grant for voting machines
Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers
OSHKOSH — The Winnebago County Board narrowly rejected a proposal to accept $294,000 in grant funding for touch-screen voting machines based on concerns regarding the integrity of the system.

The board Tuesday fell two votes short of the necessary 26 votes required to accept the funding for the purchase of 49 Diebold touch-screen machines.

Federal law will require each polling place to have a machine accessible to the handicapped by September.

While the law doesn't specify the type of machine, Winnebago County Deputy Clerk Pat Rabe said the Diebold model is the only one allowable in Wisconsin that's compatible with county voting systems.

"This is not optional," she said.

Supervisors Bill Wingren and Jef Hall came out strongly against the purchase of the Diebold machines based on issues including reported high failure rates and the potential that the machines could be hacked.

"It's not that electronic voting overall is bad," Hall said. "But this is a bad system."

The board briefly discussed reconsideration of the measure.

Instead, Supv. Harvey Rengstorf agreed to bring a similar resolution up for further
discussion with the county's judiciary committee to learn more about the system and gather additional public input. If passed, that resolution could come back to the full board.



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