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Allegheny County cannot verify the software in its touch-screen voting machines is what the state certified when it allowed paperless voting machines, county officials say, because the state provides no mechanism for such an audit.
In 2006, Allegheny County spent $12 million of a federal grant to purchase the machines, which are used in more than 20 counties, including Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Greene, Mercer and Westmoreland.
"It would be irresponsible for me to try and do [software verification] in the space of three weeks. We don't want to play with this," Mr. Johnson said. And even if the software were available, he added, it is too late to start an audit now because it would have to be carried out through a bidding process, which could take up to three months.
A new Government Accountability Office report on voting system testing finds that the Election Assistance Commission has not notified election officials across the country about electronic voting machine failures.
And a new study by Common Cause and the Century Foundation finds that 10 very vital swing states have significant voting problems that have not been addressed since the last election.
Those 10 states, according to Common Cause, are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Originally posted by zlots331
We probably are still using the most reliable method of voting ever.
Originally posted by Ian McLean
Originally posted by wheresthetruth
Lets see...based on the knowledge of myself and a few very select friends with specific knowledge, I am pretty sure that in 4 years, we could come up with something as simple as:
more than enough checks/balances to guarantee no data loss or corruption
Enjoy that certainty. Based on the knowledge of myself and a several select friends with specific knowledge, I guarantee that if you design such a system, that you're confident in, it can be subverted in such a way as to yield, at each possible scope of verifiable consistency, the results you expect to see.
It's in the hardware, ya know.
America’s sloppy, fraud-prone voting system could turn Election Day into an Election Month of court challenges.
Voter Fraud Expected to Be Rampant
Our nation may be on the brink of repeating the 2000 Florida election debacle, but this time in several states, with allegations of voter fraud, intimidation and flawed voting machines added to the generalized chaos that sent Bush v. Gore to the Supreme Court for overtime.
"If you think of election problems as akin to forest fires, the woods are no drier than they were in 2000, but many more people have matches,” says Doug Chapin, editor of the nonpartisan Electionline.org.
The real battle that could decide this election may be fought by the squadrons of lawyers both sides have hired to prepare Florida-style challenges to the results in any close state. Once again, America’s sloppy, fraud-prone voting system could turn Election Day into an Election Month of court challenges.
Election lawsuits are already piling up. A new federal mandate requires that all voters be allowed to cast a provisional ballot if their names don’t appear on registration lists. Liberal groups are suing to have such ballots counted even if they are cast in precincts where the voter doesn’t live. If the number of provisional ballots exceeds the margin of victory in the Senate race, you can bet lawyers will argue that “every vote must count,” regardless of eligibility. Candidates may have to hope their vote totals are beyond the “margin of litigation.”
Originally posted by schrodingers dog
Election lawsuits are already piling up.
Originally posted by Ian McLean
reply to post by schrodingers dog
But here's a interesting point, regarding what you mentioned about 'direct democracy' and sound-bite politicing. I think there's a cognative disconnect, there. I often hear people (here and other places) rail against direct democracy; the founders didn't like it, people in mass are stupid, majority voting panders to perception instead of solutions, etc. But, if we're to move away from that, that implies electing politicians based on trust, integrity, and personality, not particular stances on particular issues. Yet, another major complaint from the same people who don't like the idea of direct democracy is that politics now is so very much focused on personality and 'trivialities', rather than the issues the electorate is concerned with. Isn't there a disconnect there? Do we want to be able to trust politicians, or the public -- or both, or neither?
Palm Beach County's high-speed ballot counting machines couldn't count the same ballots the same way twice in tests performed Wednesday evening.
As part of a challenge to a disputed judicial race, elections officials tested two Sequoia 400-C counting machines to see how they handled ballots they previously rejected as either over- or under-votes.
Wednesday's tests were simple. Election workers took 262 ballots previously rejected by the machines as over- or under-votes in the judicial race and ran them through two machines. All of them should have been rejected again in the tests.
That didn't happen.
On the first two tests of 160 ballots, the machines accepted three ballots as good votes. On tests on 102 more ballots that should have been rejected, the machines first accepted 13 ballots as good votes and then 90 on a second run.
Sequoia is one of America's largest private voting machine vendors, and one of its worst ... Just 30-some days from America's next and likely-largest election ever, the desperate company is under fire today for recent voting system failures in Palm Beach, Washington D.C., and New Jersey.
Originally posted by DancedWithWolves
Just as not every person votes in an election, not every person will find an affinity for studying the issues.
Also, even on basic levels our government is not opening itself to a dialogue with the people. Where are the government internet forums open to citizens on any given legislation? Where is the public discourse on issues fostered by our government allowed, encouraged and embraced even?
Originally posted by TheRooster
reply to post by schrodingers dog
SD, I love the title. I say bring back the dimpled and hanging chads. OR Perhaps we could cast our votes by throwing a rock at the candidate of your choice?
On November 4, 2008 voting systems will fail somewhere in the United States in one or more jurisdictions in the country. Unfortunately, we don't know where. For this reason, it is imperative that every state prepare for system failures. We urge each state to take steps necessary to insure that inevitable voting machine problems do not undermine either the individual right to vote, or our ability to accurately count each vote cast.
Ten states received the worst rankings ("needs improvement" or "inadequate") in three of four categories: Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia.
Oct. 24, 2008 | NORTH MIAMI, Fla. -- Sure, Ted Ravelo likes Barack Obama. But two hours is a long time to stand in line to vote, especially considering that it's still October. "This has to be remedied," Ravelo, 72, said Wednesday morning, shaking his head, as he gave up on voting early -- at least that day -- at the North Miami Public Library, where a couple of dozen voting machines and their operators were struggling in vain to keep pace with a flood of citizens. "Something has to be done." A line stretched two blocks from the building, as other voters doggedly stood -- or sat on the folding chairs many of them had brought along -- for up to two hours while waiting to cast their ballots.
A visit to Florida in the waning days of the 2008 presidential campaign threatens to evoke a certain sense of déjà vu for another late October eight years ago. Once again, polls show the state is deadlocked -- and once again, there's a very real possibility that a lot of people who support the Democratic candidate could have trouble voting.
In that case, consider what must be the No. 1 most boneheaded move in voting machine history.
Hacking a voting machine usually involves getting inside and swapping out a chip or two, so you would think they would make them really hard to open up. Sure enough, it you look at a Diebold (now called Premier Election Solutions) AccuVote-TS machine, there's a locked cover keeping everything secure. The only problem is that even election officials lose their keys occasionally, so Diebold sells new ones to "Diebold account holders" through their online store.
Now this is where it gets really dumb. Right there on the order page is a picture of the keys (since removed), showing exactly what they look like. Dumber still, it turns out that every AccuVote-TS machine uses the exact same key, and dumbest of all, it's essentially the same as many of the keys used for hotel mini bars and office file cabinets. A group studying voting machine security at Princeton University found that with three blank keys, a file, and a small vice, they could easily make two working keys by copying the key pattern from the Diebold website.