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W.Va. counties won't get new voting machines

Voting Machines
Sep. 23, 2008 @ 03:14 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State officials say a voting machine holdup is a minor matter this year, but it could become a serious problem if the federal government doesn't act.

The state Elections Commission decided yesterday not to certify 21 touch-screen voting machines wanted in Ohio, Hancock and Summers counties.

The commission is holding back because the manufacturer has made what it says are minor changes in the machines. The state wants to hear from the federal Election Assistance Commission before giving the machines the green light.

Deputy Secretary of State Sarah Bailey said today the federal agency needs to provide guidance as old machines start to wear out and have to be replaced.

That's also the conclusion of a report this month by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which said the federal agency needs to provide more guidance to states.