Saturday, August 11, 2007

Man Bites Dog

Special Iowa Republican Straw Poll Edition

The results were delayed by more than an hour, which the Republican Party of Iowa blamed on "machine difficulties." At least one machine, about 1,500 votes, had to be counted by hand, and took far longer than party officials had expected.

"That's what they've been doing this whole time, but they clearly misjudged how long this would take," GOP spokeswoman Mary Tiffany said.

The situation may have added fuel to the fire of some Ron Paul supporters who had sought to block voting at the event because of the machines. They filed a federal lawsuit on the constitutionality of the voting process this week, and argued that the vote-counting machines, made by Diebold Election Systems, had fundamental weaknesses.

A federal judge in Des Moines refused to grant an injunction on Friday. The matter was appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, which on Saturday morning upheld the ruling.

The machines, the plaintiffs argued, are the same type that California's secretary of state placed rigorous security conditions on last week.