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 »

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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

Obama might get another delegate or two in NY

Posted in Barack Obama, Elections, Hillary Clinton, voting, voting machines tagged , , , , , , at 5:23 pm by bluebanshee

Looks like the election results in New York will be revised with Barack Obama possible gaining in his delegate count.

Black voters are heavily represented in the 94th Election District in Harlem’s 70th Assembly District. Yet according to the unofficial results from the New York Democratic primary last week, not a single vote in the district was cast for Senator Barack Obama.

That anomaly was not unique. In fact, a review by The New York Times of the unofficial results reported on primary night found about 80 election districts among the city’s 6,106 where Mr. Obama supposedly did not receive even one vote, including cases where he ran a respectable race in a nearby district. http://tinyurl.com/38a6r5

The above report in the NYT caused much alarm across the country — with many folks suggesting that there was some chicanery on the part of Clinton supporters in her home state. In fact, the explanation offered by Doug Kellner of the New York State Board of Elections is much more plausible: Read the rest of this entry »

No voting machine vendor unscathed in CA

Posted in election audits, Election fraud, Elections, ES&S, voting machine certification, voting machine testing, voting machines tagged , , , at 4:35 pm by bluebanshee

ES&S is the target of the latest T2B report 

California SOS Debra Bowen has issued the latest in her studies of voting systems used in California.  This time round it is ES&S in the dock and found guilty of general incompetence in designing the software and security for its voting equipment.

More disturbing is the fact that the machines in this latest part of the Top to Bottom Review (T2B) are widely used optical scan machines that count paper ballots.  So even jurisdictions which have paper ballots and use these scanners should consider putting additional safeguards in place and instituting post-election audits.   Especially since these are the same machines that were recently decertified by the SOS in Colorado. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

January 11, 2008

Election Fraud in NH Primary? Or Not?

Posted in Barack Obama, Diebold, election audits, Election fraud, Elections, Hillary Clinton, Hr 811, NH Primary, paper ballots, politics, voting, voting machines tagged , , , , , , , at 11:45 pm by bluebanshee

The internet has been abuzz since Tuesday night with wild claims that Hillary Clinton “hacked” the NH Primary — or that someone else perpetrated the dirty deed to help Clinton and McCain triumph in the Granite State. Some point to differences between the margins in hand-counted precincts vs. optical scan precincts. Others claim that the pre-election polling could not be so far off from reported results.

Both of these cries of “fraud”, and “hacking” are based on flawed logic — and stunning ignorance or basic misunderstanding of statistics. They also fail to look at the demographic make-up of precincts that produced different margins for the candidates. On the other hand, there has been an almost universal failure to consider whether well-documented problems with the type of optical scan machine used in New Hampshire offers at least a partial explanation of how this happened. Read the rest of this entry »

January 7, 2008

Glaring omissions in otherwise excellent NYT article on voting machines

Posted in Diebold, election audits, Elections, ES&S, Florida voting, paper ballots, politics, voting, voting machine certification, voting machine testing, voting machines tagged , , , , , at 10:24 pm by bluebanshee

“Can You Count on Voting Machines?” is the question posed by Clive Thompson in his cover article in this week’s New York Times Magazine. The answer, of course, is a resounding “No” due to flawed design, buggy software and poor quality control in the manufacture of these machines, as Thompson ably demonstrates. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/06/magazine/06Vote-t.html?_r=1&hp=&pagewanted=all&oref=slogin

Thompson’s solid article is a timely reminder on the eve of the New Hampshire Primary that the nation’s election system is still broken. The curtain was pulled back in Florida 2000 to reveal the sorry state of U.S. elections and, despite the efforts of activists and politicians, there is not as much progress as one would hope. Some states like Florida are making great strides toward transparent paper-based systems, while others like Maryland, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Virginia are still struggling to ditch paperless voting machines.

However, there are a few areas of omission that need to be filled in and a few bits of mis-information that need to be corrected. Read the rest of this entry »

December 29, 2007

CO SOS tests voting systems — certifies only Premier (Diebold)

Posted in Diebold, Elections, ES&S, voting machine certification, voting machine testing, voting machines tagged , , , , , , , at 1:00 pm by bluebanshee

Colorado SOS Michael Coffman completed court mandated testing and recertification of voting systems used in the state and issued some dramatic rulings which were immediately subject to a firestorm of controversy.

Premier (formally known as Diebold) All voting equipment submitted for recertification passed.

Sequoia The optical scan devices, Insight and 400-C, used to count paper ballots both passed, but the electronic voting machines, the Edge II and the Edge II Plus, both failed due to a variety of security risk factors, including that the system is not password protected, has exposed controls potentially giving voters unauthorized access, and lacks an audit trail to detect security violations.

Hart The optical scan devices, eScan and BallotNow, both failed because test results showed that they could not accurately count ballots. The electronic voting machine, eSlate, passed.

ES&S The optical scan devices (M 100 and the M650) both failed because of an inability to determine if the devices work correctly and an inability to complete the testing threshold of 10,000 ballots due to vendor programming errors. The electronic voting machine (iVotronic) failed because it is easily disabled by voters activating the device interface, and the system lacks an audit trail to detect security violations.

http://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/pressrel/coffman_completes_elec_voting_equip_tests_12-17-07.html Read the rest of this entry »

Dear presidential candidates: say no to paperless primaries

Posted in election audits, Elections, paper ballots, politics, voting, voting machines tagged , , , at 11:43 am by bluebanshee

Sean Flaherty of Iowans for Voting Integrity has penned an eloquent letter to the current crop of presidential hopefuls urging them to insist on paper ballots in the upcoming primaries. He calls particular attention to the well-documented problems with the paperless DRE called the iVotronic that will be used in the early-voting state of South Carolina (but this machine is also used in many other states including populous Pennsylvania, Texas, and Indiana).

Reproduced below is Sean’s well-footnoted plea to the presidential candidates to request paper for the presidential primaries.

I write to call your attention to the insecurity of South Carolina’s upcoming Presidential primary, and to respectfully urge that you request the election officials of South Carolina to use paper ballots, and conduct manual audits of electronic vote tallies in the January 19 Republican primary.

South Carolina uses a paperless touch screen system statewide, the iVotronic [1] Paperless electronic voting is reckless in any right, but the iVotronic has managed to become notorious on its own terms. Key facts: Read the rest of this entry »

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