Andover Tests New Diebold Voting Machines
The town of North Andover
made the new Diebold voting machines available to the
public on November 7th, as voters were able to test the
machines for the first time during the mid-term
Town Clerk Joyce Bradshaw said the experiment seemed to
be a complete success. About a hundred people
volunteered to use the Diebold machines in this election
and we didnt have any complaints at all, she
We were chosen by the Secretary of States
office to be a test site for the electronic Diebold
machines as part of the Help America Vote Act, she
There were 8-10 communities in the area that were
also chosen to use this type of machine. The machines are
very easy to use and we expect that they will be standard
by the presidential primaries in two years.
Bradshaw said the machines were supposed to be
implemented statewide this past September, but Secretary
of State William Galvin had problems with using the
original Diebolds because there were no paper print outs
to check the accuracy of the electronic voting.
The Secretary of State refused to certify the other
machines and he was very good about getting a machine
that would print out a paper ballot for testing.
Bradshaw said the cost of purchasing Diebolds for every
precinct would be very expensive, adding, It is a
huge purchase to get machines for every precinct in the
commonwealth, and I think the secretary of state wanted
to make sure the machines were dependable and easy for
voters to use before we embarked on such a huge
purchase. Bradshaw also tested the machines after
voting had closed. We did test the machines after
everyone voted and they agreed with the vote totals we
had, so there were no problems in North Andover
though I dont know how testing went in any of the
other sites. In North Andover we had no complaints; most
people said they were very easy to use. What was great
about these machines was that they made it very easy for
people with a vision problem to vote by using larger text
on the screen and headphones to verbally explain to the
voter who they were casting their ballot for.
Bradshaw said she prefers the Accuvote machines
cur-rently being used in N. Andover because they are
easier to process, harder to tamper with and there is a
comfort level she and her staff have with them.
But, she added, these new machines are
a lot easier for independent-min-ded voters - people who
need lots of assistance now will be able to use these new
machines with almost no help at all.
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The November, 2006
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