South Carolina’s electronic voting machines became the focus of negative attention during an election protest by U.S. Senate candidate Vic Rawl. Leaders of the state Democratic Party upheld Alvin Green as the primary winner, saying that the party wants to move forward to the general election.
But opponents of the machines still say they are flawed. John Fortuin with the non-profit organization Defenders of Democracy out of Atlanta was present at Rawl’s hearing documenting the event and the testimony from voting machine experts who discussed how vulnerable the machines are.
Fortuin says South Carolina, like Georgia, has a voting system where the votes are not verifiable since it depends on software and has no paper record. He says South Carolina should change to scannable paper ballots, which is safer and also allows for a quick audit following any election. Fortuin says 31 states have already banned voting systems that don’t have paper verification and some states require automatic audits following elections. He says overall, compared to many other countries, the U.S. has very low standards for election security, but there is pending federal legislation to change that.
Voter Becci Robbins was also present at last week’s hearing. She told us that, like witnesses who testified that they had problems on primary day, she did as well when she voted in Lexington County. She says the machine would not allow her to vote for the Democratic candidates she wanted.