Voting safe, Grubbs says

Butte County Clerk-Recorder Candace Grubbs (pictured) wants people to know that, in Butte County anyway, voters can be sure that their votes count.

Recent reports that, during a test conducted by UC Davis at the request of Secretary of State Debra Bowen, computer technicians were easily able to hack into voting machines and change their contents don’t mean the machines are unsafe or inaccurate, Grubbs said in a phone interview with the CN&R.

Noting that the hackers had been given the code books, manuals and unfettered access to the machines, she said it was like giving burglars the keys to the house and directions to your valuables.

Bowen has until Friday to decide what to do about the report. Grubbs said she thought the secretary would call for “more uniform training” of precinct workers and better security measures.

Locally, precinct workers responsible for the equipment get 10 hours of training and know to be alert for anyone “monkeying around” with the machines.

Electronic machines are much more accurate than paper ballots, Grubbs said. In fact, the biggest problem is with their printers, the only mechanical part. “They jam,” she said.