The Indiana Elections Commission refused Friday to immediately approve Lake County’s purchase of remodeled electronic voting machines, which local officials say are crucial to reducing long lines of voters next year. Sally LaSota, county elections director, said Friday more machines are needed before the 2012 primary election when President Barack Obama’s re-election bid is expected to bring out busloads of early voters.
LaSota said she needs help handling the anticipated crowd and asked state elections officials to permit MicroVote, which has manufactured the 1,050 current machines, to provide more updated electronic voting stations. Michelle Fajman, county recorder and elections director during the 2008 Obama campaign, said, “In Gary, we had people voting as late as 10 p.m. Lake County is in dire need of more machines.”
State elections officials instead postponed a decision until MicroVote submits a new version of its computer touch pad. A team of Ball State University computer experts will ensure the new equipment meets state accuracy standards.
Steve Shamo, a MicroVote official, said there is no need for testing because the new touch pad is essentially the same as the current one.
Anthony Long, a state elections commission member, said he no longer wants to take MicroVote’s word on the matter and insisted testing be done before any new machines are ordered.