The push to certify something is on
Thanks to Steveegg for the link to the story about the failure of the Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS) by Accenture and the push to certify some sort of voting machinery.
Unfortunately, the Accenture thing was predicted back in May, 2005.
The pressure by the clerks of the most populous counties and municipalities to have the State Election Board certify something, anything was predicted back on August 3, 2005. This pressure will only grow as the January 1, 2006 deadline looms. At this time I do not think ANY system is HAVA-Compliant and meets the minimum statutory requirements of 5.91 and 5.64. Populex is the least flawed of all the flawed software and systems on the market. But even Populex does not create a ballot conforming to the legal requirements of 5.64.
This means hand counting paper ballots; even in the cities of Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Appleton and Waukesha.
Wisconsin will still get the HAVA money though. Paper ballot are a HAVA compliant method if you use the Rhode Island Tactile Ballot for the blind and AutoMark (no Unity though) for the spastic and those with palsy.
The next 3 months, October, 2005 through December 2005, will be a watershed time for Wisconsin on the issue of voting machinery. We can ceritfy anything as California did 2 years ago and face the same election irregularities, litigation losses and lost voter confidence as California has. Or, Wisconsin can recognize she has high standards which none of the abysmal programmers of voting machine currently meet.
I opt for the high standard and the possibility of a straight election in Milwaukee sometime in my lifetime. There are worse things than hand counting paper ballots and getting correct, trusted results in 4 hours. One that comes to mind is corrupted and perhaps fraudulent results within 1 hour.