January 7, 2008
“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
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  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 »
December 8, 2007
Debunking Bev’s tissue of factoids and insinuendo
I just received a fundraising appeal from Black Box Voting (Bev Harris’ 501(c)(3) organization) that left me scratching my head. So much of the information contained in the one-pager mailed to my home wrapped around a donation envelope was not based upon well-researched facts. Instead it was a farrago on insinuation and hyperbole designed to get raise alarms enough to folks to open their wallets to BBV.
Here is one passage that is a mix of information and mis-information:
Oregon does have some unique issues with its voting system. Oregon’s mail-in votes will be counted by ES&S computerized voting machines. It was an ES&S mail-in vote counting scanner (like those used to count Oregon mail-in votes) that was caught miscounting votes in Broward County, Florida in the 2004 presidential election. ES&S scanners were also caught miscounting in Orange County, Fla.
Let’s do a line-by-line analysis of the above paragraph and see where Bev gets it wrong. Read the rest of this entry »
December 4, 2007
Verified Voting has anew action alert for the Senate version of Rush Holt’s H.R. 811. S. 2295, introduced by Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), contains the desirable paper ballot and audit provisions of the original “committee mark” version of H.R. 811 plus the welcome addition of a phase-out of DRE voting machines. Go to the Verified Voting website and use the tools you find there to to contact your Senators and urge them to sign on as co-sponsors for S. 2295.
Less than a year from now, an important national election will be held — but will our voting systems be prepared? Some states have already taken action to require voter-verified paper ballots and mandatory audits to check ballot tallies for accuracy. But what about the rest of the country? Read the rest of this entry »