A view from South Carolina
Tom Hatfield of Hilton Head Island, S.C., had this to say about the Enquirer's article titled, Voting debate grows partisan:
"I read your article about Touch Screen Voting Machines and have a comment that you may wish to consider since it has not been widely discussed.
"I have been an Election Commissioner for seven years here in Beaufort County, SC (and its Chairman for three of those seven) and was very involved in switching from punch cards, to paper ballot scanning machines to, finally, touch screen machines.
"I cannot remember the source but what was narrowly reported about voting was simply this:
1- There are NO perfect elections. Mistakes are always made. Most often by the voters themselves.
2- The objective was to reduce whatever errors are made, whether by election officials or voters, to the lowest possible number.
3- The error rates of voting by ballot types are proven to be:
a) Hand counted ballots - over 3 percent (which are also the easiest to cheat).
b) Punch cards - 2 to 3 percent (including hanging chads).
c) Electronic scanned paper ballots - 1 percent (mostly voter error).
d) Touch Screen Voting - 0.5 percent (the most difficult to defraud with the least voter error).
"What is also not well publicized is that most electronic voting machines have a triple redundancy. Which means that you have two EPROM electronic chips built inside the machine that records every vote cast on that machine. Plus a removable 'smart card' that records the same votes. If one fails for any reason, the other two are available for backup and verification.
"Unfortunately, the majority of objectors to Touch Screen Voting have little experience in actually working at the polls or running elections.
To those of us who work at the polls, Touch Screen Voting Machines are the best answer to good elections that we have ever seen."
Does anyone have a differing viewpoint? Feel free to comment here.