(H/T – Lisa Sink)
Over at Shorewood Patch, Marie Rohde explains why those municipalities still using Optech Eagle opitical-scan machines and seeking to upgrade to the current version of the software are going to go through a hand recount of those ballots – the software update that would allow the storage of both the election-day run of ballots and a recount of that election on the same memory cartridge took close to three years to be approved by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (in fact, it was approved only earlier this year) and has yet to be approved by the Government Accountability Board, a process which will likely take another several months.
Thanks to that, the recount will cost just Miwlaukee County an additional $500,000 over the cost of doing the recount by-the-book (optical-scan ballots are run through the machines, the DRE/touch-screen ballots are hand-counted). That is expected to drive up the cost of the recount to close to $1,000,000.
I wonder how many modern optical-scan machines could be bought with that money. I know Oak Creek has a few of those, as not all the wards here will need a full hand recount, but unfortunately, none of them were at my polling place on April 5.
Revisions/extensions (5:57 pm 4/25/2011) - The story gets curiouser and curiouser. Even though the Government Accountability Board lists ES&S as the vendor of the majority of the Eagle systems in use in Wisconsin (the link lists all the voting systems by municipality), it’s actually a Sequoia Voting Systems (since acquired by Dominion Voting Systems) machine. Moreover, not only is no system from Dominion currently certified by the Election Assistance Commission, it appears that the version that includes the Optech line that is still under testing (WinEDS 4.0) does not include the Eagle as part of the test.
R&E part 2 (6:43 pm 4/28/2011) - Things are quite a bit clearer after representatives from Dominion contacted me. To wit, Dominion Voting Systems says that WinEDS 4.0 does work with the Optech Eagle optical-scan machine, and once the underlying system is approved by the EAC, the GAB will test the software with the Eagle.