A week after the primary election of March 2, 2004,  it was discovered that at least three precincts around the Coachella Valley still had the Sequoia Pacific touchscreen voting machines, sitting around in unlocked rooms, easily accessible by the public.

 

There are two main reasons this is important:

 

1.         Data integrity

 

a.   According to the Registrar of Voters,  the machines contain the redundant memory of the election.   She has assured voters that if something ever happened to the cartridges, the machines had the information. 

 

b.   Re-count -  according to the re-count procedure, to verify the data, the cartridge needs to be inserted into the machine it was originally used.   The two totals must balance to prove the data count.  Machines left sitting around for a week could have been damaged, or data could have been compromised.

 

2.         Cost

           

a.      These machines cost about $4,000 each.  We saw 5 in Cathedral City, 10 in Desert Hot Springs and 5 in Palm Desert.   That’s $80,000 of equipment sitting around in a clubhouse, accessible to anyone walking down the street in Cathedral City,  and in the senior center, again open to the public, and in the drama room of a high school, with children coming and going.   The machines are on little carts, and can be easily rolled out of the room.   

 

b.      This is major disregard for taxpayers’ investment in voting equipment.

 

Below are the photos of the machines in Desert Hot Springs and Palm Desert.

 

March 8, 2004,  Palm Desert HS .

 

The drama room was accessible to students and adults every day after the election.   This was at 6pm on Monday evening, door was unlocked.

 

It is not the school’s responsibility to secure the voting machines.

PDHS with ID no.

March 7, 2004  Desert Hot Springs Senior Center – during a dance.

Side of machines

March 7, 2004, Desert Hot Springs Senior Center.

 

The dancers just put the punch and ice next to $40,000 worth of touchscreen voting machines.

Lance and machines

March 7, 2004, Desert Hot Springs Senior Center.  Shows the front door open to passers-by.

Going into the center with open doors

March 7, 2004, Desert Hot Springs Senior Center

 

Refreshment table next to the machines,  people dancing around them.

Angelo and lady

March 8, 2004,  Palm Desert HS .

 

The drama room was accessible to students and adults every day after the election.   This was at 6pm on Monday evening, door was unlocked.

 

It is not the school’s responsibility to secure the voting machines.

PDHS with Romeo sign