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Montana’s Electronic Voting Technology: Where are We on the Path to Montana Vote Security?

September 22, 2006View for printing

Missoula Community Access Television (MCAT) announced today that the next two weeks’ showings of “What’s Up Missoula?” will feature host Rikki Danielson’s two half-hour interviews with election integrity activist Steve Corrick.

Corrick, the founder of http://www/ and a Missoula native and recent returnee to the Garden City, has worked for the past four years to help ensure secure electronic voting technology. Fostered by America’s Help America Vote Act, which was passed by the US Congress in 2002, electronic voting machines, including the ES&S optical scan machines used by 40 Montana counties have a checkered record of success and failure in the past few election cycles.

However, all is not bad news in Montana. Extensive changes to Montana voting law enacted by the 2005 Montana Legislature and the Montana Secretary of State require that all Montana votes be cast on paper ballots and that all recounts in Montana be conducted by hand, with the actual paper ballot as the ultimate arbiter of the final vote count. Further, because of the challenges of the recount in a Montana House of Representatives race in Polson in 2004, a strong bipartisan coalition at both the Legislature and the Secretary of State’s office exists to push for voting law changes that protect every vote cast by a Montana voter. Finally, the Missoula Mayoral Primary hand recount in Fall 2005 was carried out without a hitch.


Montana ES&S Electronic Voting Overview ... &Itemid=113


Part One of the series covers the recent history of Montana’s contested elections, and the relative success of the new hand recount process in Montana and the laws that protect Montana’s votes.

Part Two looks much more closely at the worrisome history of electronic voting and at the mounting Montana’s electronic voting vendor Election Systems and Software has faced in 2006 elections across the US. A final part of the second show looks at proposed revisions to Montana law which could move Montana from being a state with some pretty good, if inconsistent elections laws, to being one of the very best in the country at securing and protecting its citizens’ right to vote and to have their vote counted accurately.

The two-part series will also show in Great Falls on Public Access Cable 7, and in Helena on Helena Civic TV 11.

Both parts will show on Missoula Community Access Television’s Civic Channel 11 at the following times:

Part 1:

Mon. 09/25, 6:00-6:30 PM

Wed. 09/27, 7:30-8:00 PM

Fri. 09/29, 6:00-6:30 PM

Sun. 10/01, 7:30-8:00 PM

Tue. 10/03, 3:30-4:00 PM

Thu. 10/05, 5:30-6:00 PM

Sat. 10/07, 5:00-5:30 PM

Part 2:

Tue. 09/26, 3:30-4:00 PM

Thu. 09/28, 5:30-6:00 PM

Sat. 09/30, 5:00-5:30 PM

Mon. 10/02, 6:00-6:30 PM

Wed. 10/04, 7:30-8:00 PM

Fri. 10/06, 6:00-6:30 PM

Sun. 10/08, 7:30-8:00 PM

Steve Corrick



Officials Wary of Electronic Voting Machines

Chris Gardner/Associated Press

Less than two months before voters head to the polls, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. of Maryland this week became the most recent official to raise concerns publicly. Mr. Ehrlich, a Republican, said he lacked confidence in the state’s new $106 million electronic voting system and suggested a return to paper ballots.

Dozens of states have adopted electronic voting technology to comply with federal legislation in 2002 intended to phase out old-fashioned lever and punch-card machines after the “hanging chads” confusion of the 2000 presidential election.

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