Saturday, March 17, 2007

Voting Machines Stored In Leaky Decatur Warehouse

Decatur, GA
Again demonstrating complete incompetence, Georgia officials have allowed nearly three thousand Diebold electronic voting machines, the very machines the Bush Crime Cartel used to influence national presidential elections, to be improperly stored in a rundown, damp and leaking storage facility in minority ravaged Dekalb County.

Thousands of moisture-sensitive Diebold voting machines have been left under tarps in a leaky DeKalb County warehouse, more than a year after officials learned of the problem, county officials told the state Election Board on Tuesday.

Board members said the revelation raised serious questions about the integrity of Georgia's voting process. Officials with the secretary of state's office said counties across the state are being ordered to conduct audits to ensure their voting equipment is intact and being housed appropriately. They plan to inspect each audit.

"It's outrageous," David Worley, a Democratic appointee to the board, said of conditions at the Decatur warehouse.

The leaky storage for the 2,758 voting machines came to light on Tuesday after embarrassing news earlier this year that about 40 voter access cards and three electronic ballot encoders belonging to DeKalb County had shown up for sale on an Internet auction site.

The cards have all been recovered and officials say there is no evidence they were ever used. They were lost when DeKalb County, near Atlanta, sold old furniture without cleaning out the drawers. The furniture buyer found the cards inside and posted them for sale on e-Bay.

Critics said the incident raised questions about the security of the state's electronic voting system.

Republican election board member Randy Evans said taken together the conduct is damning.

"I don't know how you can get much worse than this," Evans said.

Melanie Wilson, a senior assistant attorney for DeKalb County, called the matter "a serious, serious concern."

But she said the county has implemented additional security precautions that require periodic inventories and a chain of custody reports for voting equipment.

Still, the pricey voting machines have stayed put even as water has seeped in.

Under questioning from board members, DeKalb County elections supervisor Linda Lattimore said the county hasn't provided money to repair the roof at the Memorial Drive facility.

"This has been an ongoing problem in excess of a year," Lattimore said.

The state spent $54 million to implement electronic voting in Georgia, becoming the first state in the nation to do so.

After initially proposing a $15,000 fine and an order that the machines be relocated in a matter of days, the board determined that the case had to be referred to the state attorney general's office to hammer out a consent decree with the county.

Evans expressed frustration that more could not be done to protect the state's investment.

"The idea of sitting idly by while these machines are sitting in this warehouse is not acceptable," Evans said.

Original Controlled Media article here:

GA Voting Machines Left In Leaky DeKalb Warehouse

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