By John Gideon on 7/28/2006, 9:07am PT  

Dobbs has this to say (tongue in cheek) when talking about Diebold's denial of any problems while there is evidence of vote tallying problems, "A minor, minor consideration when one is holding an election is to be able to count the vote."

A written transcript follows...

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DOBBS: In our series of reports here we call "Democracy at Risk," we've chronicled the threat to the integrity of our electoral system posed by e-voting. More than half of all voters in this country are expected to cast their ballots on electronic voting machines this November. As we've documented here, electronic voting machines are not only vulnerable to severe malfunction, but to fraud.

In a special election in this past May, one county in Ohio demonstrated just about all that can go wrong in an election with e- voting and just how much of a threat e-voting is to this country.

Kitty Pilgrim reports.


KITTY PILGRIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Cuyahoga County, Ohio, was all geared up to use electronic voting machines for the first time, but the election held on May 2nd turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. Many of Cuyahoga County's e-voting machines just didn't work.

The Diebold voter registration system dropped or displaced several hundred registered voters. Some Diebold touch-screen machines froze up, others crashed. On others, the paper record jammed up.

Cuyahoga County also used optical scanners. The thick black lines on some of the ballots interfered with the system reading them, and even when the machines worked many of the poll workers weren't sufficiently trained to instruct voters or answer questions.

REP. STEPHANIE TUBBS JONES (D), OHIO: At the end of the day, poll workers were supposed to take a card out of the machine, put in it a bag and send to it the board of elections. Well, some of the workers closed down the machine, left the card in the machine. At the end of the day, there were cards that were still in machines and not being counted.

PILGRIM: The so-called ease of electronic voting turned into a nightmare and embarrassment because Ohio accepted $100 million in federal money to buy the machines.

JUDGE RONALD ADRINE, CUYAHOGA SELECT REVIEW PANEL: Absentee ballots could not be scanned by the machines that were designed for that purpose. And so as a result, ended up doing a hand count on those ballots, some 17,000 of them, that took about six days following the election to complete.

PILGRIM: Afterward, a panel grilled election officials. A 400- page damage report identified dozens more problems.

The paper rolls were loaded backwards so they did not print election results. Election results were recorded on so many formats, memory cards, a central computer, internal memory of the machines, and paper rolls, nobody could figure out the tally. Memory cards were lost on Election Day and were never found again.

Security was lax. Sixty people took machines home with them for the weekend before Election Day.


PILGRIM: Now, the board of elections refused our interview request. The county won't have to wait until November for another e- voting test. The special election in August has everyone holding their breath. And for November, the county's trying to get as many people as possible to vote absentee ballot to cut down on confusion at the polls.

And yes, Lou, they are sticking with those e-voting machines that the state took $100 million to install.

DOBBS: I mean, that's breathtaking in terms of a failure of the electoral process. I can't imagine why the board of elections in Cuyahoga County didn't want to talk with you. That's just amazing.

PILGRIM: Yes, it's astonishing.

DOBBS: Where is Diebold in this? What does it say about what is happening?

PILGRIM: Yes, we spoke to them and they sent us a statement. They're basically in denial about this.

They said only one county in Ohio had problems with their machines. And the exit polls said that people --- 95 percent of people said that the machines were easy to use. This does not address the problem they had in trying to tally the vote.

DOBBS: A minor, minor consideration when one is holding an election is to be able to count the vote.

Thank you very much.

Kitty Pilgrim.

That brings us to the subject of our poll tonight. Are you considering an absentee ballot to avoid problems with e-voting machines in your state come election time? Yes or no?

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