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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/14/10

Press Release: Prestigious Pinocchio Award Goes to Maryland Elections Chief Linda Lamone

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Prestigious Pinocchio Award Goes to Maryland Elections Chief Linda Lamone

North Carolina, Wednesday April 14, 2010/NCVVNewswire/ The NC Coalition for Verified Voting is pleased to present the first ever Spring 2010 Election Pinocchio Award to Maryland State Election Director Linda Lamone, for her "creative" elections budget forecast.

"Maryland's top elections chief deserves to be recognized for her ability to spin her state's expensive, buggy, paperless voting machines as accurate, reliable, and affordable in spite of the facts." said Joyce McCloy, Director of the North Carolina Coalition for Verified Voting. McCloy went on to say that: "These misleading claims have been used in other states, but nowhere as successfully as in Maryland. Ms. Lamone has truly outdone herself and all other defenders of paperless voting systems." says McCloy.

Linda Lamone is famous in her own right for her tireless advocacy of expensive unverifiable elections run on paperless machines. Lamone has overcome opposition of voters, nationally recognized computer experts, voting rights advocates, two Governors and even the Maryland State legislature. Lamone's battle is a matter of life or death, with Lamone on record saying the state would have paper ballots
"over my dead body."

Now Lamone's achilles heel may be the bad economy. Lamone delayed the implementation of paper ballot systems by arguing that it would be far less expensive to keep the current paperless system. This tact has worked before, but in this bad economy Lamone has to account for her numbers.

The Maryland group SAVE our Votes found discrepancies in Lamone's cost claims:

The SBE provided cost projections ... to Board of Public Works members last October showing that the cost of switching to a new optical scan voting system would be roughly $19 million for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 while the cost of using the existing equipment would be about $6 million. However, after procurement of the new system was postponed, the SBE requested nearly $11 million to operate the existing equipment in this year's elections.
The Maryland General Assembly has ordered an independent study of voting system costs:

"The study will examine the current and projected operating and maintenance costs and the projected lifespan for the state's existing touch-screen voting equipment as well as the costs of procuring and implementing an optical scan system in the most cost-effective manner. It will also review the voting system costs and contracts of other jurisdictions that currently use paper ballot/optical scan voting systems. The report is due December 1, 2010...." ~ press release.

More background:

Why Maryland STILL Does Not Have Paper Ballots
# # #

About us: The North Carolina Coalition for Verified Voting is a grassroots non-partisan organization fighting for clean and verified elections. We study and research the issue of voting to ensure the dignity and integrity of the intention of each voting citizen. The NC Voter Verified Coalition has consistently fought for increasing access, participation and ensuring the voter franchise. Contact Joyce McCloy, Director, N.C. Coalition for Verifiable Voting - phone 336-794-1240 website

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Editor of the Voting News. The Voting News is a free national newsletter about election integrity issues, voting machines, election fraud, voter access and legislation in United States and international news.

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