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Many voting machines decertified in Colorado

Official faults accuracy, security

Email|Print| Text size + By George Merritt
Associated Press / December 19, 2007

DENVER - Colorado's secretary of state has declared many of the state's electronic voting machines to be unreliable, but said yesterday that some could still be used in November if a software patch was installed.

Other machines that failed could be replaced with equipment certified for use in other states, Secretary of State Mike Coffman said.

Coffman met with a task force of state lawmakers to discuss what Colorado should do the day after he decertified three of the four voting equipment manufacturers allowed in the state.

Either of Coffman's solutions mentioned yesterday would have to be approved by the Legislature. The lawmakers on the task force gave no indication of whether they would accept the proposals.

In his announcement Monday, Coffman said Colorado's actions would have national repercussions. "What we have found is that the federal certification process is inadequate," he said.

The decertification decision, which cited problems with accuracy and security, affects electronic voting machines in Denver and five other counties.

Coffman announced in March that he had adopted new rules for testing electronic voting machines. He required the four systems used in Colorado to apply for recertification.

In Ohio, the state that narrowly gave President Bush his win in 2004, a review concluded last week that electronic voting machines are vulnerable to security breaches and human error.

Touch-screen machines have been purchased across the nation to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act. Nationally, $3 billion was spent to replace the punch-card voting system that faltered in the 2000 election.

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