“As the calendar rolls into 2014, the political season moves into hyper mode as state voters prepare to go to the polls to elect a governor and two U.S. senators and make other decisions in a mid-term election,” Ron Barnett reports for Greenville News. “Memories of long lines at the polls and questions about the state’s electronic voting machines are likely to recur.”
“Juan Gilbert, chair of human-centered computing at Clemson, envisions a time when voters will be able to cast their ballots online without leaving home, and when each vote can be verified without relying solely on electronic data,” Barnett reports. “For 10 years, Gilbert and his students have been developing a program called Prime III — Premier Third Generation Voting System — that can be downloaded to a tablet, computer or smart phone. The technology promises to be easier to use, cheaper, more accurate and more accessible to voters with disabilities than current voting machines, Gilbert said. Clemson is making the software available free, and several manufacturers — including the maker of the touch-screen machines now used statewide in South Carolina — are considering it, he said. The system will be used later this year in Wisconsin, he said.”
“The South Carolina Election Commission, however, isn’t considering any new voting system now, spokesman Chris Whitmire said,” Barnett reports. “The commission has asked the Legislature for $5 million in each of the past two budgets and been denied, he said. It plans to request $10 million this year, he said. Once funding is in place and the commission decides to replace the current system, the state would seek proposals, he said. The state spent more than $34 million for about 11,400 iVotrinic voting machines in 2004 and 2005, according to a report released last year by the state Legislative Audit Council. That’s about $3,000 per machine, compared to about $500 for an iPad.”
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