Wednesday, July 28, 2004

LA CityBeat - 24-June-2004

RIVERSIDE – Late Monday, word came that Mischelle Townsend, Riverside County’s Registrar of Voters, had abruptly quit her job mid-term. She said she wanted to spend more time with her family, and nurse her father-in-law through his impending knee surgery. Worthy sentiments, for sure. But she didn’t mention anything about a controversial March 2 election for county supervisor that was still being contested, and the recount that had become entangled in problems attributable, in part, to the county’s electronic voting machines. Nor did she mention anything about potentially explosive new details regarding the possible manipulation of those machines. Likewise, no mention of the big list of questions to this effect from Los Angeles CityBeat sitting on her desk since last Saturday.

Instead, the state’s most outspoken champion of e-voting machines, who was leading a lawsuit against Secretary of State Kevin Shelley to try to revoke a list of 23 improved voting security measures imposed last month, is stepping down and vanishing. Townsend leaves not only a mass of unresolved questions about the contested supervisor seat, but also about the fate of e-voting in this state.

Down for the count

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