COG Wants Voting Machine Audit

Reprinted from The Post and Courier
By Robert Behre

The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments approved a resolution Monday asking for the state to audit how its voting machines are working.

The proper functioning of South Carolina’s machines has drawn increased skepticism following human errors made during last year’s elections.

The council’s resolution noted, “a concern frequently expressed about voting machines is they do not incorporate a ‘paper trail’ that could facilitate unequivocal confirmation of election results.”

The action Monday did not come as a surprise. Council members, who represent most local governments in the tri-county area, agreed in April to draft such a resolution.

James Island Public Service Commissioner Eugene Platt, who pushed for the resolution, was delighted it passed. “I think this vote makes the BCD Council of Governments the first council of governments in the state to take this stand,” he said.
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State election officials have assured that the state’s iVotronic machines reliably tally votes, but discrepancies in vote tallies have been found in Colleton, Richland and Lancaster counties. Those problems stemmed from human error, state officials said.

The resolution asks state lawmakers to have the Legislative Audit Council probe the machines.

State Rep. Bill Crosby, R-North Charleston, cast the sole dissenting vote, Platt said.

The state uses about 12,000 iVotronic touch-screen machines made by Election Systems & Software of Nebraska. State election officials have said the machines are more than half-way through their projected lifespans and will need to be replaced in several years.

Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.