Oh Ye Of Little Faith

Many Skeptical on Vote Counting
Sacramento Bee (CA) (08/23/07) Smith, Dan

The majority of California’s most avid voters do not have much confidence that their votes are being counted accurately, according to a Field Poll survey of likely voters, and are nearly equally divided over which type of voting machine they prefer–paper ballots with optical scanners, electronic touch-screen machines, or the punch card system that’s no longer in use.

The survey was taken at about the same time a panel of experts condemned touch-screen machines, prompting California Secretary of State Debra Bowen to restrict the use of touch-screen machines throughout most of California. Forty-four percent of respondents said they have a “great deal of confidence” in accurate vote counts, 41 percent said they have “some confidence,” 11 percent said they have little confidence, and 3 percent said they have no confidence.

Bowen says she is surprised and unhappy that so few voters have confidence in the voting systems and that her goal is to improve voter confidence to close to 100 percent. Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo says he expected to see lower voter confidence because of the controversy surrounding touch-screen machines.