A group that’s worried about the reliability of touch-screen voting machines is releasing an analysis to highlight its concerns. "Iowans for Voting Integrity" compared the overall number of voters who showed up at Iowa precincts on Election Day 2006, and the number of Iowans who voted in the governor’s race.
Precincts with touch-screens had consistently higher numbers of people who didn’t vote in that top race compared to precincts which used other voting devices and Sean Flaherty, co-chair of "Iowans for Voting Integrity," says to him that signals there’s a problem with touch-screen machines.
"Maybe it’s not as usable, that voters are confused by it, or it’s just unreliable," Flaherty says. In 2006, 19 Iowa counties used only touch-screen voting machines. Governor Culver has signed legislation that would replace those electronic vote tabulators with optical scanners by November of 2008.
"The legislature, the governor, the secretary of state all get the issue very well — it’s just an issue of getting it done as quickly as possible," Flaherty says. In the 2006 general election, 21 of Iowa’s 99 counties still were using paper ballots which have to be counted by hand.