June 19, 2010

Rage Against the Machines

Posted in Election reform, Elections, ES&S, paper ballots, politics, voter verified paper ballots, voting, voting machines tagged , , , , , , at 5:42 pm by bluebanshee

This post is not about the rock group of that was famous for innovative virtuoso guitar work and political activism, although they might well join the the chorus of outraged denunciation of the unreliable paperless voting machines used in South Carolina.

Just how bad could the voting machines in SC be?

Answer: really, really, really bad. Flaky. Unreliable. Not ready for prime time. In fact, it’s laughable that a country with our technological knowhow would be relying on these machines to count our votes. Read the rest of this entry »

June 15, 2010

Paper, Please!

Posted in Election reform, Elections, ES&S, paper ballots, politics, Rush Holt, South Carolina primary, voter verified paper ballots, voting, voting machines tagged , , , , at 3:09 pm by bluebanshee

No, this isn’t about your choice at the supermarket checkstand. Nor is this post about the controversial ID law in AZ – that would be a whole different post. Instead this is about the recent Democratic Senate primary in South Carolina, where all the ingredients for an election disaster were present.

First, take two obscure candidates in a statewide race. Yes, one the of the candidates (Rawls) had previously run for office but he was not widely known across the Palmetto state – he at least ran something of a campaign – website, rallies, e-mails, mailings. But the other candidate, come-from-nowhere victor (Greene), mounted no discernible campaign and still cruised to victory with 60 per cent of the vote. How likely is a scenario where an unemployed vet who lives with his Dad and faces felony obscenity charges emerge as the election winner. No wonder lots of folks are scratching their heads and looking for answers.

Next ingredient in this election controversy: paperless touchscreen voting machines.  South Carolina uses the ES&S iVotronic DREs without a paper trail. Read the rest of this entry »

October 23, 2009

‘The computer says so’ is not a good answer

Posted in Diebold, Elections, Humboldt county CA, paper ballots, voter verified paper ballots, voting tagged , , at 8:36 pm by bluebanshee

In Humboldt County California, Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich has not had good luck relying on her computer system(s) to give her accurate information. This has created problems.

In November 2008 she found out that the Diebold optical scan system she was using was capable of making an entire batch of counted ballots disappear into thin air without a trace … poof! No warning message … no tellltale evidence in the computer log … just poof, the batch was gone.

It turned out to be a known bug in the Diebold software that might only be avoided with special “workaround” procedures – or at least, that is what representatives of Diebold told her when she contacted them about the vanishing votes. Crnich found out about the problem because of a post-election audit conducted by local activists – not because of any notification from Diebold.

So Crnich did what a conscientious election official might do – she decided to switch to a new vendor and spent recent months getting her brand new system from Hart InterCivic ready for this November’s election. Read the rest of this entry »

April 27, 2009

New Option for Visually Impaired Voters

Posted in Access for Disabled Voters, Alternate Format Ballot, Election reform, Elections, ES&S, Large Format Ballot, paper ballots, Uncategorized, voter verified paper ballots, voting tagged , , , at 2:37 pm by bluebanshee

Oregon  has been leading the way in providing access to disabled voters and has just announced a new enhancement that will address the needs of visually impaired voters — large format ballots (LFB).  Many voters with vision problems simply need larger type sizes on the printed page rather than electronic voting devices called DRE (Direct Recording Electronic) machines.

One of the chief arguments for the continued use of DRE’s in elections across the US  is the perception that DRE’s are needed to provide access for disabled voters.  Oregon is proving that this is not the only way to assist those who have vision impairments. Read the rest of this entry »

July 28, 2008

Action Alert: Tell your Senators to vote NO on S. 3212

Posted in Diane Feinstein, Election reform, Elections, paper ballots, S. 3212, voter verified paper ballots, voting, voting machines tagged , , , , , , , at 11:10 pm by bluebanshee

Here is the latest from my friends at Verified Voting:

We need your help today to make sure that Congress does not reverse the nation’s progress toward voter-verified paper ballots. It is not an exaggeration to say this could be one of the most important actions you ever take on the issue of verified voting. After you take action, please forward this message to your friends.

Here is what’s happening. This Wednesday, the U.S. Senate will hold hearings on S.3212, a bill aimed at providing independent verification of ballots cast on electronic voting machines. That’s a laudable goal, but S.3212 gets it wrong – very wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

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