Investigate Voting Machine Claims

If you are an Ohioan, you may remember well what you were told about electronic voting machines: No problem. They’ve been tested and are reliable and secure.

Not really, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner seems to be saying. Last week, she issued a report identifying, according to The Associated Press, “a host of ways” in which touch-screen computer voting machines could be manipulated.

Brunner’s report cannot be dismissed — certainly not as a scheme involving partisan politics. To underscore that fact, House Speaker Jon Hustead, R-Dayton, appeared with Brunner, a Democrat, at the press conference during which she revealed the report’s findings.

The report comes after a $1.9 million review of computer voting machines, conducted by scientists who found a variety of potential flaws.

In response, Brunner suggested that it may be time for Ohioans to reconsider how they cast and count votes. Brunner favors use of paper ballots, with votes counted through optical scanning machines.

We don’t know about that — but what we do know is that quite a few counties are stuck with expensive touch-screen equipment. In Belmont County, elections officials are not happy with the equipment because of election-night ineffciencies and, of course, cost.

Some of the report’s findings may be attributable to advances in technology and, yes, simply to time. The longer any machine is on the market, the more time is available for flaws to be discovered.

Still, Ohioans were assured when many counties decided to obtain touch-screen machines that they were safe. We suggest that one follow-up to the new report should be to determine whether Buckeye State residents were misled and, if so, by whom.