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Virginia Report Reveals Issues with Voting Machines

The WINVote machines, used by 30 localities across the state, have “serious security concerns particularly with the wireless capability of the system,” the Board of Elections said.

by Robyn Sidersky, The Free Lance-Star / April 13, 2015

(TNS) -- A new state report on voting equipment performance identified issues with voting machines used by 20 percent of Virginia voters, including those in Spotsylvania and Orange counties.

The WINVote machines, used by 30 localities across the state, have “serious security concerns particularly with the wireless capability of the system,” the Board of Elections said.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe ordered the investigation into voting machine irregularities after there widely reported issues experienced by several voters during the November 2014 general election.

The report includes specific information from Spotsylvania.

“From the interviews with personnel and the attempts made by the auditors, it seems possible that these errors came from wireless network interference, whether intentional or unintentional. The auditors recommend a formal investigation be performed as to the nature of these errors,” the report states.

The State Board of Elections is looking at options to address the issues and will hold a public meeting in Richmond on Tuesday to consider options available to address the concerns. The meeting is set for 11 a.m. in House Room D of the General Assembly building.

Spotsylvania Registrar Kellie Acors said she has budgeted about $300,000 to replace the county’s 154 WINVote machines. The Electoral Board will vote on the issue later in the month, she said.

She said the county plans to purchase new optical scanning machines to use instead.

In Orange, the machines were purchased to meet American Disabilities Act requirements, so most voters were not actually using the WINVote machines, Registrar Donna Jenni said.

There isn’t a primary election in Orange and Spotsylvania counties, so the next time voting machines will be used will be the Nov. 3 general election.

©2015 The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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