Des Moines Register
- Crime & Courts
Iowan Testifies on Florida Balloting
By JOHN McCORMICK
Register Staff Writer
A University of Iowa professor was among those who testified Thursday before a civil rights commission investigating allegations of discrimination against minority voters in Florida on Election Day....He told commission members that installing identical voting machines ... could create more problems than it would solve...."I don't want to be stuck with a single technology ... I would much rather see six vendors competing in the marketplace instead of a monopoly."
Jones called for the elimination of punch-card ballots, like those that produced the controversial hanging chads in Florida. He said he prefers ballots that depend on paper and pencil or pen.
Along with traditional election results, Jones said election officials should be required to also report the number of ballots that failed to properly record a vote and those where voters marked more than one candidate.
"I want to see those under-votes and over-votes reported in the canvass," he said. "I want these numbers because they disclose various voting abuses."
Jones triggered several bursts of laughter during his testimony. He told commission members that he started using computer punch cards, similar to those used for elections in Florida, in 1969. "I fortunately stopped using them many years ago," he said.
"I don't want to be stuck with a single technology today, only to learn 10 years down the road that there is something terribly wrong with it."
Douglas Jones, chairman of the Iowa Board of Examiners for Voting Machines and Electronic Voting Systems