PINELLAS CITIZENS TEST TOUCHSCREEN MACHINE-Andrew Stelzer

11/10/04

About 10 concerned citizens of Pinellas County arranged a meeting to test the accuracy of that county’s touch screen voting machines. The test took place at the county elections office on 49th st; WMNF was told that we were not allowed to record any of the proceedings inside the room with the voting machine; we were told that this was at the instruction of county supervisor of elections Deborah Clark. There were 4 county employees present, they instructed Leonard Schmiege in how to set up the machine and vote. Schmiege planned to vote 120 times in a random sequence. Mario Lombardo, a computer consultant, says this test is more through and realistic that the ones conducted by the supervisors of elections office before and after the actual election

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The other citizens were there to observe and be witnesses if he vote count printed out of the Sequoia touchscreen machine at the end of the test was incorrect. They all expressed concern that no matter whether the test showed any problems, they were still not confident in the current system with no paper receipts for voters

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WMNF spoke with Jim Armstrong, the IT administrator for the Pinellas county supervisor of elections office.

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Because of time concerns, Schmiege was only able to vote 65 times---and the machine did count the votes correctly WMNF spoke to him by phone after his test was complete

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There will be a canvassing board meeting on 2pm Friday at the supervisor of elections office. It is open to the public.

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