James Island Public Service District Commissioner Eugene Platt has submitted a motion condemning the deficiencies in South Carolina’s electronic voting machines. Platt’s resolution would ask the SC State Election Commission to investigate and pursue verifiable means of voting.
This resolution would be the first of it’s kind in the state.
Platt is a member of the SC Green Party steering committee and a 2010 Green Party candidate for state representative.
Speaking in favor of the resolution was Victor Rawl, of Charleston. Rawl is a judge and former county councilmember who lost the 2010 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate to Alvin Greene of Manning.
The James Island PSD voted 4-2 to table the motion until more information on the topic could be presented.
The presentation and decision to table was covered in the the February 15 Post and Courier:
Commissioner Eugene Platt asked the commission to become the first elected panel in the state to go on record expressing what he said is a lack of voter confidence in the “electronic touch type” machines. His guest at the Monday night commission meeting was Charleston County Councilman Victor Rawl, who last June very surprisingly lost a two-candidate Democratic Party primary contest for a U.S. Senate seat nomination.
After a vigorous discussion about wording of the resolution, commissioners voted 4-2 to table the vote until Feb. 28. Platt protested that the commissioners have for some time known he was preparing a resolution, and — looking chagrined — excused himself and walked out of the meeting.
Commission Chairman Donald Hollingsworth said he will ask Platt to apologize for his “abrupt departure.”
Earlier, Platt told commissioners that as elected officials they have a stake in assuring that votes are properly recorded. The iVotronic machines the state purchased in 2004 and distributed produce vote totals that can’t be cross-checked, Platt said.
“They leave no paper trail,” said Platt, adding that the software that operates the machines is a secret closely guarded by the manufacturer and not available for examination by even state election officials. He suggested a better way would be voters filling in paper ballots that are then read by machines.
Rawl said the best way to get the machines replaced is to get state legislators to pressure the state Legislative Audit Council.
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Rawl on Monday stopped short of saying the machines cost him victory in June but raised questions about the validity of the vote count that gave an upset win to the little-known and unfunded Alvin Green. Rawl said that the way the machines differentiated votes for him from votes for Green raises questions about possible errors in the tabulation.
The record for the machines chosen by the State Election Commission is extremely poor, with a history of errors in tabulation going back several years.
The uncertainty created by these machines is corrosive to public confidence in elections.
Given that every vote is equally valuable and necessary for a democracy, the State Election Commission should choose a method of verifiable voting, such as the paper ballot.
Read the rest of the Post and Courier article: