Voting machines targeted
JAMES ISLAND -- A day after engineering a "historic" vote by his fellow James Island Public Service District commissioners, Eugene Platt set his sights on a larger goal.
Platt on Tuesday urged James Island Town Council to adopt a resolution calling for South Carolina to replace its electronic touch-screen voting machines. The iVotronic machines, Platt contends, have many problems and voters have little confidence in vote counts they produce. He told council the JIPSD was the first elected body in the state to urge replacement of the machines, and the town could become the first municipality to do so.
"I hope you will do something similar and start and statewide trend and get the attention of the state legislature," Platt said.
There was no immediate response from council members or Mayor Bill Woolsey. On Monday, the PSD commission gave unanimous approval to a resolution on "restoring voter confidence in elections." The resolution cites the machines' inability to produce "a paper trail that could facilitate unequivocal confirmation of election results."
The commissioners on Monday heard from Frank Heindel of Mount Pleasant, who said he used the Freedom of Information Act to uncover numerous issues with the voting machines in the 2010 elections. With only a few counties scrutinized, Heindel said he documented a 10 percent "over vote" in Colleton County; 1,100 votes not counted in Richland County; and "19,000 missing digital ballot images in Charleston County."
He said the ballot images are supposed to be stored by the machines and used to verify vote counts, but many images were lost.
St. Andrews PSD Commissioner Lee Edwards agreed the machines have serious problems, and Alan Laughlin of James Island, who chaired two James Island elections, said human error is most often behind problems with the machines.