HOUSTON – After a fire destroyed voting machines in Harris County voting machines in Houston last week, Harris County official Clerk Beverly Kaufman approved a $13.6 million measure to buy 2,325 voting machines to make sure polling places throughout the county are kept open. The machines were insured, which has allowed the county to buy some new ones. The Harris County Commissioners Court confirmed the emergency measure after a fire destroyed the warehouse that housed the original 10,000 machines last week in Houston as well as access code dispensers, access units for disabled people and other devices. In addition to the machines, 1.4 million paper ballots are being dispensed in case of long lines at the polls.
This is a very positive event because it allows people to easily have the ability to vote during the elections in November. Paper ballots are far tougher to assure accuracy with due to miscounting and tampering by corrupt counters. That’s why it’s a very good idea for the county to step in and buy the new machines.
There is nothing more frustrating than going to vote only to have to wait…and wait…and wait…and wait…For a person such as me, this is a minor inconvenience that will cost me a little time but there are many other people who have little extra time to spend at the polls trying to do something that for some would take only a matter of a few minutes to complete. No one wants to spend any more time at the polls than they need to.
It should be interesting to see what comes of the investigation of why the warehouse and in turn, the machines, were destroyed. Though authorities have yet to say what the cause of the blaze was, arson was not ruled out. Why would someone want to destroy the machines? Perhaps as a protest against the current establishment from someone who is frustrated with both major political parties is an answer. Another reason may be for the purpose of making people wait and really think about their vote more than they would have if they could have just walked in and quickly made their vote. That the building was destroyed as well as all of it’s contents is awfully suspicious and should lead one to assume someone is behind it. The only way it would have seemed more suspicious is if it had happened just before the election.
All in all, the emergency measure to approve the funding of new machines is a positive development that will make it easier for citizens to vote. Machines are the best form of technology for the voting process, short of internet voting. Plus, not everyone has lots of time to spend at voting locations and the move is a spite of vengeance toward a potential situation of arson and what that person would be representing.