Brad Messer Commentary
8:15 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2002

The recount of general election votes in Bexar County is just about over, and soon we won't know how the voting really went.

That's right: soon we won't know. The ballots were designed, and aspects of the election planned, amateurishly. Separated two-page ballots were irreconcilable. We can neither count nor recount the votes accurately.

The new voting machines which we'll use in May's local election are not going to be an improvement over the current clown show. Yes, they'll be more expensive. Yeah, they'll be electronic. But no, we will not be able to have an accurate recount with the new ESS touch-screen machines.

There will be no detailed paper trail.

That is not acceptable.

County leaders and the Elections office must commit to hooking every ESS touch-screen voting machine to a printer. A voter must be able to check the accuracy of his or her vote after using the touch screen, before dropping the ballot into a box.

The votes will be counted electronically and that should be fast, or around here, at least not extra extra slow. If a recount is necessary, paper ballots can be counted by hand. Accurately.

Anything short of a detailed paper trail, the election results cannot be believed, and that's a fact.

Brad Messer— commentary, KTSA.


Who will win in 2004 (was 99.9% accurate in 2002)
Dallas News: some ESS touch-screens not accurate "...said that they selected a Democratic candidate but that their vote appeared beside the name of a Republican on the screen. They also said some votes cast for Republicans were counted for Democrats."
Search "ESS voting machines" in
ESS demands removal of web page



Commentary A R C H I V E