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California green lights e-voting

11 counties are go for electronic ballot

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California's election officials have approved the use of electronic voting machines in 11 of the state's counties. Kevin Shelley, California's secretary of state, said that the counties had improved the security of their voting machines so that they now comply with all conditions required for state certification.

Four counties that remain unapproved are those using the controversial Diebold AcuVote-TSx Voting System voting machines. Shelley decertified the machines in April after problems with the March elections.

Newcomers to the e-voting saga should probably be aware that Walden O'Dell, Diebold's chief executive, wrote to Bush Jr. last year pledging his commitment to "to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President".

After the March elections in California revealed significant problems with electronic voting systems, Shelley accused Diebold of engaging in reprehensible and deceitful tactics and called on the attorney general's office to investigate. The findings of that investigation are expected to be announced on 6 September.

Shelley gave 11 other counties, which have machines other than the AcuVote-TSx Voting System, time to upgrade their systems to include a method of producing a paper receipt for the voter.

He issued a statement saying that he was "pleased to announce that all eleven counties using electronic touchscreen voting machines have met the conditions necessary for statewide certification of their voting equipment", according to Reuters. ®

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