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6 Mar, 2008 06:07

U.S. primaries: millions spent on dud system

On Tuesday Ohio voters had to deal with a voting system that got rid of the controversial touch-screen machines and returned to paper ballots. According to Ohio’s top election official, Jennifer Brunner, millions of dollars of federal money were spent on

“We spent $US 100 million of federal money approximately three years ago. And these machines were not what we thought they were. The problem was the rush to implement this without testing,” explained Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

Since elected in 2006, Brunner has vowed to restore trust in the state's election system. She hopes all counties in Ohio will have switched to paper ballots by November.

Yet, the new optical scanners which read the paper ballots will likely be supplied by the same companies that also produced the discredited punch-card-ballot machines and touch-screen machines.

“There are few companies that manufacture and supply voting equipment and unless we move to paper ballots that we count by hand we are dependent upon these companies and their products,” Brunner said.