A voting machine expert from Iowa will testify before the U-S Civil Rights Commission in Florida this week about the problems of the November election. Douglas Jones chairs the Iowa Board of Voting Examiners for Voting Machines and Electronic Voting Systems. Jones says the punchcard system that was subject of so much controversy in Florida didn’t work well when it was banned in Iowa 16 years ago.Jones is a professor of computer science at the University of Iowa. When it became clear the presidential election was becoming a national mess, Jones says he made his views known to the Fort Lauderdale Sun/Sentinel.Some suggest a uniform type of voting machine and one ballot be used nationwide to prevent another election fiasco. Jones says none of the current voting machine technologies are perfect and all of them have disadvantages. He says mandating identical voting machines nationwide is not the answer. He says there needs to be different types of machines to give us an alternative if something goes wrong with the system that’s being used.Jones says one of the better voting systems is in use in parts of Iowa and was designed here — where voters use a black marker to connect arrows pointing to the name of the candidates they want elected. Jones is slated to testify at the hearing of the Civil Rights Commission in Tallahassee, Florida, which runs Thursday and Friday. The panel is hearing testimony about whether the rights of voters were violated during the 2000 election.
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