Coffman Recertifies Touchscreen Voting Machines, Delays Decision on Scanners

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Denver (AP) -- Secretary of State Mike Coffman has recertified three models of touchscreen voting machines for use in this year's elections. But he hasn't decided whether to authorize the use of two brands of optical scanners yet.

Sequoia's Edge II and Edge II Plus, used in Arapahoe, Denver, Elbert and Pueblo counties, were certified with some restrictions, along with election systems and software's Ivotronic, which is used in Jefferson and Mesa counties.

The Ivotronic certification, for example, includes a requirement that clerks install a piece of equipment to stop a magnet from disabling the machine.

Last week, Coffman held a hearing to demonstrate the machines and the proposed fixes. He says he wants to do more testing and consider those comments before making a decision on Hart's Escan Optical scanner and its Ballotnow software.

He's scheduled a meeting with county clerks Wednesday in Douglas County to discuss the scanner. He's still working to schedule additional tests for two other scanners made by ES&S.

Because of the uncertainty of how many machines would be available for this year's elections, legislative leaders and Governor Ritter have been working on a plan to conduct the elections mainly by paper ballot.

However, the state is still required to have electronic voting equipment available for disabled people and for anyone else who asks to use it. The optical scanners are also needed to count the paper ballots.