updated 5/20/2004 3:29:40 AM ET 2004-05-20T07:29:40

California’s state election chief Wednesday said 10 counties have largely agreed to conditions for using touch-screen voting machines in the Nov. 2 election.

Secretary of State Kevin Shelley last month banned touch-screen voting in the fall unless counties meet a host of conditions, including precautions to prevent tampering and giving paper ballots to voters who prefer them.

“I’m very confident that all the counties eventually will come in,” he said during a state Senate committee hearing.

However, four counties — San Diego, San Joaquin, Kern and Solano — remain banned from using their machines this fall as punishment for manufacturer Diebold Election Systems, which the state says lacked federal approval for machines used March 2.

Shelley said the early “disappointing” reaction among several counties to his 23 conditions is “changing now” — including in Riverside County, which filed a federal lawsuit last month over Shelley’s order.

Shelley declined comment about the lawsuit, but said: “I’ve had good positive conversations with members of the board of supervisors of Riverside County, as well as the registrar. I’m fully confident we’ll all be in this together.”

The secretary of state banned the counties’ touch-screen machines after numerous glitches in the March 2 primary election and growing concerns in California and nationally over the reliability and safety of computer voting.

California’s March election offered the computer voting option to 6.5 million registered voters in 14 counties, representing almost half of California’s electorate.

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