to the Editor of the Bucks County Courier Times, March 8, 2008
Issues surrounding voting
machines continue to emerge
The small auditorium was
packed. The right hand aisle would have been hard to negotiate; it was too full of standees. A red-haired
man leaning against that wall started some kind of a chant, which some in the crowd took up. There were people standing
all across the back and twenty or so hovering in the doorway and out into the hallway, trying to hear
every word. Many of them had spent months speaking and meeting with those elected officials and giving them
printouts of well documented data gleaned from every possible source, all to help the deciders make an informed
decision. Now they were to take a vote. It was March 15th, 2006 in Richlandtown.
Commissioners were about to choose a type of voting machine which other districts across our
country had chosen, only to be surprised later by ongoing costs, most of which tied their governments to their machine's vendor
for the foreseeable future. Our deciders had previously been given data about locations where this had
happened and should have contacted them to check on it.
Mr. Cawley was about to close
the comments from the public when a woman rushed up the only open aisle to ask one more question. He was ready
to deny her request when she called out, "Please!", so he let her speak. Her only question was about future costs
associated with the new voting system. Commissioner Cawley referred her to Mr. David Sanko, the county's COO,
who replied that there would be none, since the county would be taking on those responsibilities "in house".
This is not hearsay; I was that woman.
Now we are told that there
will be a $98,000 annual fee. The initial agreement must have expired. Had the Commissioners contacted any
of those governments that they had been told were already having these problems? If so, which one(s) and what did they
learn from them? That information should now be made public.