Ohio Recount Reinforces Use of Electronic Machines

With a recount of the Nov. 2 election results almost complete in Ohio, officials said Tuesday their electronic voting systems worked as promised, despite alleged problems with some machines.

With recount results reported in 86 of 88 counties Tuesday, President Bush (search) picked up 438 votes and Sen. John Kerry (search) got an extra 680, narrowing Bush's 119,000-vote lead by 242 votes, according to an Associated Press survey of the counties.

Neither the Bush nor Kerry campaigns expect the recount to change the outcome.

Seven Ohio counties used electronic systems on Election Day, and Carlo LoParo, spokesman for Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, said those counties did a good job. "By and large, electronic voting went well in Ohio," he said.

But Kerry's concession hasn't deterred critics who feel that alleged voting problems in Ohio called the outcome into question. The Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Massachusetts-based Alliance for Democracy (search) have accused the Bush campaign of "high-tech vote stealing."

An AP review of electronic voting found few reports of widespread problems. Elections officials of both parties were confident the election was fair and done properly.

A lawsuit pending in Columbus by Jackson and allies claimed up to 30 machines in the Youngstown area had to be recalibrated. Another dozen machines froze up and needed to be reset, according to the lawsuit.

Tanya Clay, deputy director with People for the American Way Foundation (search), said the national watchdog group received complaints about broken machines and machines which flipped votes to another candidate.

"We have a lot of concerns about that," she said from Washington, D.C. She said the problem of broken machines was worsened by inadequately trained poll workers.