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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Bysiewicz says voting machines not up to Federal standards

Okay, this can turn out to be a very serious matter for many towns in Connecticut as the 2006 elections are just a year away.

From the Hartford Courrant
Connecticut's 3,500 lever-style mechanical voting machines may have to be replaced before the 2006 election because a federal commission has ruled the old machines are not accessible to all voters, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said Thursday.

If local election leaders can't use the old lever machines, they'll be forced -- in a matter of months -- to acquire more modern voting machines such as optical scan or touch screen devices, Bysiewicz said.

"The towns will now find out that lever voting machines are off the table as an option. I know that is going to come as a surprise and an unwelcome surprise to towns," she said Thursday.


Connecticut submitted a plan in 2003 that called for allowing towns to either switch entirely to optical scan machines, or provide at least one such device at a polling place.

The state is in the process of buying 769 voting machines that comply with the law.

Bysiewicz said she's not sure the state has enough money to replace all of its mechanical voting machines. Connecticut received about $33 million from the federal government to improve voting.