June 7, 2009

SD ‘Glitch’ adds 5000 phantom votes

Posted in Elections, ES&S, paper ballots, Rush Holt, voting tagged , , , , at 3:45 pm by bluebanshee

An unexplained ‘glitch’ nearly doubled the reported vote count in a recent local election in Rapid City, SD. Election officials were quick to note that the error was caught and did not change election results.
http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/articles/2009/06/04/news/local/doc4a26be929b134639509302.txt?show_comments=true#commentdiv

Comment: election officials always assure the voting public that every thing is OK after a glitch like this is found, metaphorically pat us on the head and tell us to ‘move along … nothing to see here.’ They expect us to ignore the signs that something went wrong that they can’t explain — or how they plan to prevent similar glitchy events in future elections. Read the rest of this entry »

April 27, 2009

Ireland abandons electronic voting

Posted in Elections, Irish elections, paper ballots, voting, voting machines tagged , , , , at 5:28 pm by bluebanshee

According to a recent report in the Irish Times, the Irish Republic has decided to dump its 7,500 paperless  electronic voting machines and retain paper ballots.  There had been a proposal to add a Voter Verified Audit Trail (VVAT) to the paperless NEDAP machines but  Irish Minister of the Environment John Gormley  decided against that path, citing costs. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2009/0423/breaking37.htm

“It is clear from consideration of the Report of the Commission on Electronic Voting that significant additional costs would arise to advance electronic voting in Ireland. This decision has been taken to avoid such costs, especially at a time of more challenging economic conditions.”

But Gormley stated that he felt that the decision was also justified by other considerations:

“The public appeared to be broadly satisfied with the present paper-based system and that this had to be recognised.

“The assurance of public confidence in the democratic system is of paramount importance and it is vital to bring clarity to the present situation.” Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

June 25, 2008

Sen. Nelson (FL) introduces One Person, One Vote Initiative

Posted in Abolish Electoral College, election audits, Election reform, Elections, Hr 811, One Person One Vote Initiative, paper ballots, politics, Sen. Bill Nelson, voting tagged , , , at 8:30 pm by bluebanshee

Senator Bill Nelson’s attempt at comprehensive reform, S.J.Res. 39, was just introduced in the U.S. Senate. Because it is so late in the cycle the bill has little chance of passing before the new Congress is sworn in next January. The “One Person, One Vote Initiative” contains some intriguing elements, including a proposed Constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College.

Any constitutional amendment faces an uphill battle because of the need for passage by a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress followed by adoption by three-fourths of the 50 states (Article V). Not likely to happen very quickly.

For those in need of a refresher about why the Electoral College was created by the Framers, it should be said that those who designed our Constitutional system never envisioned that the President would be elected by popular vote. They planned to have state legislatures select the members of the Electoral College who would in turn gather to vote for President and Vice-President. Read the rest of this entry »

June 18, 2008

The votes not counted

Posted in Barack Obama, Elections, paper ballots, politics, voter fraud, Voter ID, voter suppression, voting, voting machines, Voting Rights tagged , , , , , at 10:13 pm by bluebanshee

Every election cycle in the U.S. there are votes that never get counted –but not because of computer glitches on paperless voting machines, as if often assumed. The computer glitches happen and no paper trail is there to give silent evidence of the missing votes. Much energy has been devoted to replacing paperless voting machines with systems that have a voter verified paper record without also considering the other source of missing votes.

What am I talking about? What other type of missing vote is there besides the ones lost inside the electronic world of computerized voting machines? The answer, of course is that the other type of votes that never get counted are the ones that never get cast. Tragically millions of votes are never cast in jurisdictions across America each election cycle for a wide variety of reasons –partisan dirty tricks, voter suppression, voter intimidation, purged voting rolls, misinformation campaigns targeted at certain groups of voters, or simply voting machine shortages in inner city precincts. It is these uncounted votes that never show up in the winning (or losing) margin but in close races can mean the difference between victory or defeat. Read the rest of this entry »

May 24, 2008

Bev Harris gets it wrong, part 2

Posted in Elections, paper ballots, voting, voting machines tagged , , , , at 9:47 pm by bluebanshee

Once again, an e-mail from Bev Harris of Black Box Voting landed in my mailbox filled with smears, insinuendos and half-truths (the most dangerous kind). Guess her coffers are empty and she needs to do a little fundraising.This time Bev takes aim at the recent primary in Oregon, singling out three counties for attack.

IMPOSSIBLE AND IMPROPER NUMBERS FROM OREGON’S MULTNOMAH, POLK, AND YAMHILL COUNTIES Read the rest of this entry »

February 23, 2008

What to believe …

Posted in Elections, New Jersey primary, paper ballots, politics, voting, voting machines tagged , , , , , at 11:23 am by bluebanshee

The numbers from the cartridges that print out vote tallies and the paper-tape backup didn’t match. http://tinyurl.com/2odsco

This is the dilemma faced by election officials in several New Jersey counties including Union, Bergen, Gloucester, Middlesex and Ocean counties during the recent Presidential primary. The voting machines in question are paperless DRE’s from Sequoia. Not machines that have paper for voters to check to see that their vote was recorded correctly but machines where votes are recorded invisibly somewhere in the depths of the machine’s memory.

Now they (and we) find out that even the computer speaks with forked tongue when asked what the election results are.

The discrepancies involved the political-party turnout reporting. Sequoia Advantage machines in several counties showed different figures between the result tape from the machine and the records of a secondary memory cartridge, for the number of Democratic and Republican voters. http://tinyurl.com/269edr Read the rest of this entry »

February 18, 2008

Counting every vote

Posted in Barack Obama, Double bubble, Elections, ES&S, Hillary Clinton, paper ballots, politics, voting, voting machines, Voting Rights, Washington Republican caucus tagged , , , , , , at 3:28 pm by bluebanshee

Making ‘one person one vote’ a reality in this country

In the rush-rush hurry-hurry to announce election results there have already been some miscounts and uncounted ballots this primary season.  This should not happen.  If we are going to truly be a democracy of “one person one vote” we need to be sure that all ballots cast by eligible voters are counted.

For example, there’s the recent example in the Washington state Republican caucuses where the winner was declared in a close race before all the votes were counted.  Entire counties did not have their results included in the tally: Read the rest of this entry »

January 14, 2008

Only Diebold knows for sure …

Posted in Diebold, election audits, Elections, NH Primary, paper ballots, politics, voting, voting machines tagged , , , , , , , at 9:19 pm by bluebanshee

…And the rest of us will find out via a recount in New Hampshire.  Because Diebold won’t tell.

The paper ballots hold the key.

I have said before and I will say it again here — paper ballots are not enough to ensure election integrity and transparency.  You’ve got to do something with the paper to check the election results — like a mandatory routine audit.  If New Hampshire had a law on the books requiring a post-election audit we would not be in the ignominious position of

  • first, begging for a candidate, any candidate,  to step forward and ask for a recount and,
  • second, scrambling around to help raise funds to pay the thousands of dollars it costs to recount all the ballots even in a small state like New Hampshire.

We are grateful that Democrat Kucinich and Republican Howard have stepped forward to help find answers the  burning questions:  Who really won the primary —  and, could the vote have been hacked? Read the rest of this entry »

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