It’s been more than a decade since the implementation of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), which required states and counties to update their elections systems. The law, which was in response to the disastrous 2000 election in Florida, gave states until 2006 to comply with the voting system requirement. Although some weren’t happy about it and still remain opposed to the new DRE or optical-scan systems, all states were finally compliant by the 2010 mid-term elections. Now, with some of those post-HAVA voting systems starting to show their age, and other jurisdictions wishing to make the switch from DRE to optical-scan, counties and states are back in the market for new voting equipment.
“They are aging, [we had] problems in the field on Election Day and we have had problems with people either saying they didn’t get a certain ballot or it was not there,” explained Jenny Lee Sanders, general registrar. “The terms of lease/purchase agreements are very good at this particular time.”
… In Maryland, all jurisdictions in the state have been using (Diebold/Premier AccuVote TS), which were phased in beginning in 2002 and fully in place by 2006.
Ross Goldstein, deputy administrator for the Maryland State Board of Elections, said the decision to implement a new system was primarily motivated by the desire to have a voter-verifiable paper record as part of the voting process. While HAVA requires all states to use voting systems that provide a way for voters to verify their vote, some states have gone further to dictate specifics. Maryland state law now mandates an optical-scan voting system.
… Hamilton County, Tenn. was HAVA compliant before HAVA even existed when it purchased the Diebold Accu-Vote system back in 1998. But being so far ahead of the curve means that the voting machines in Hamilton have seen better days. Elections Administrator Charlotte Mullis said that fifteen years after the initial purchase, the machines are simply wearing out.
Full Article: electionlineWeekly.