South Carolina: Counting the Vote – Some Say South Carolina’s Outdated Machines Cause for Concern | Free Times

Barbara Zia has seen enough miscounts. As the president of the state chapter of the League of Women Voters, Zia is fighting for the state to replace its outdated voting machines in hopes of preserving another layer of security for democracy in South Carolina.

The league, praised for its nonpartisan concern for voting rights and access, recently commissioned an independent study of the state’s voting technology after snafus in the 2010 elections. According to Zia, the report found three basic problems with the current system.

One, the iVotronic machines were aging and replacement parts were no longer being manufactured. Two, the machines were too complicated for the committed poll managers to use, workers whom Zia said were basically volunteers working from before dawn to after daylight in some cases. And three, the electronic touch-screen machines do not provide enough of a paper trail to ensure truly correct elections.

South Carolina: Audits spotlight 2010 election problems |

Two audits of South Carolina’s November 2010 general election found scores of human errors that led to incorrect vote counts and other problems. None of these errors were large enough to have changed the outcome of a election or referendum, but they were significant enough to prompt the State Election Commission to make several procedural and policy changes. The problems also emboldened the chorus of critics questioning the accuracy, reliability and accountability of the state’s iVotronic voting machines.

And they could prompt the Legislature to lengthen the time period between Election Day and when counties meet to certify the results. That added time would give counties extra time to audit their data before formalizing their tallies. State Sen. Chip Campsen, R-Isle of Palms, has chaired a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee looking at elections and has reviewed the audits’ results. “The problem is these problems were uncovered after the election was certified,” he said. “Once an election is certified, it can’t be undone.”

Barbara Zia, co-president of South Carolina’s League of Women Voters, said the scrutiny of the state’s election system was triggered in part by the June 2010 Senate Democratic primary in which an unknown candidate who didn’t campaign won handily with 60 percent of the vote. The league’s recent audit — which requested information from all 46 counties under the state’s Freedom of Information Act — was an outgrowth of that.

Editorials: League of Women Voters denounces passage of South Carolina voter suppression legislation | The Pickens Sentinel

League of Women Voters of South Carolina President Barbara Zia strongly denounced passage of the “voter photo identification” bill in the state General Assembly and calls on Governor Haley to veto this legislation.

The legislation requires eligible citizens to present specific government-issued photo identification in order to exercise their constitutional right to vote. This is an expensive new government program that will create barriers to voting for thousands of citizens in an effort to “fix” a problem that doesn’t exist.