Voting Machine Company Plans Improvements by November 7 General Election

JUNE 15, 2006 - Posted at 7:40 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas's second election in the last month went smoother than the first, and officials are hoping for even more improvement in the next one.  A spokeswoman for the voting machine company under contract to Arkansas said yesterday that the firm is working to prepare the state for the November 7 election.

Some election officials and others aimed heavy criticism at the company, Election Systems & Software of Omaha, Nebraska, following a May 23 primary election in which technical problems were widespread.  Runoff elections yesterday went more smoothly, but ten counties opted out of using the new electronic voting machines provided by the company and an eleventh county gave up using them in the middle of the day.

ES&S spokeswoman Jill Friedman-Wilson said the company has worked hard to improve its communication with counties and the secretary of state's office and will continue to do so in the coming months.  She said the firm also will train poll workers and ensure that ballot coding is completed in a timely manner.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)