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VOL. 36 | NO. 37 | Friday, September 14, 2012
Nashville election officials nix electronic books
NASHVILLE (AP) - Davidson County election officials have backed away from using electronic poll books in the November election.
The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/Ns0uLc) reported the decision Thursday came despite Davidson County Election Commission members expressing confidence in the reliability of 60 of the devices used in the Aug. 2 primary.
The electronic poll books drew fire after reports that voters who did not specify the party primary ballot they wanted were assigned a Republican ballot.
Commissioner Steve Abernathy said he wants the commission to revisit the issue later, saying the software error evident in the primary election has been corrected.
"Based on that data I have seen so far from the electronic poll book locations, it appears that the primary ballots in Nashville were processed with better than 99.8 percent accuracy," Abernathy said. "I challenge any other government agency or department to match that level of performance."
Commission member A.J. Starling didn't disagree, but said it's a matter of voter perception after the gaffe in the primary election.
"The electorate out there doesn't have the confidence that the system is what it ought to be," Starling said.
The commission had planned to buy another 100 of the books, to have them on line at all 160 polls in November.
Funding also became an issue. The Metro Council voted last week to withhold a $400,000 final payment for the machines after the problem that became evident during the primary.