Thursday, January 04, 2007

Groups issue report on electronic voting errors

Unfortunately, it isn't clear to this day whether problems with voting machines in the 2006 election were human error, including voter errors and neglect to check the final recap summary screen, or whether problems were soley attributed to electronic voting machine malfunctions.

It is unfortunate in the case of Westmoreland County no one is investigating how an incorrect date was programmed into the software of the electronic touch-screen machines and that is central to determining whether there was intentional fraud.

The wrong date caused all of the the voting machines countywide to shut down.

That's where an investigation must commence. All of those machines did not on their own malfunction - somebody programmed in the wrong date. In fact, only certain persons even have access to the software to put in any information for the ballot, so the field of those responsible is narrow.

Will have to obtain the actual report to determine the actual findings.

Electronic voting errors detailed in area counties
By Rich Cholodofsky
Thursday, January 4, 2007

Problems at the polls experienced in November by voters in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties were emblematic of nationwide failures of electronic voting systems, according to a report released Wednesday.

The report, compiled by a trio of national watchdog groups critical of electronic voting systems, found that touch-screen computerized voting resulted in long lines at the polls, people being turned away because of malfunctioning machines and even cases of flipped votes.

Nationally, the report said there were problems attributed to electronic voting in more than 300 counties in 36 states throughout the country.

"We were part of a trend. These machines, while touted by vendors as easy to use and secure, time and time again we've seen these kinds of problems," said Marybeth Kuznik, executive director of VotePa.

IS THIS THE REPORT? If so, the site notes this report includes a survey of pollworker and voter experience...

Report Exposes Excessive E-Voting Machine Malfunctions in Mid-term Elections
New from National Issues - General Topics
By VoteTrustUSA, VotersUnite, and VoterAction
January 03, 2007
A Survey of Pollworker and Voter Experience Reveals Pervasive and Recurrent Failures among Computerized Voting Systems

Download the Full Report

Read the Executive Summary

A report prepared by civic watchdog groups VoteTrustUSA,, and Voter Action found the 2006 mid-term elections were marred by persistent and widespread voting machine malfunctions. In preparing the report “E-Voting Failures in the 2006 Mid-Term Elections,” the groups examined data collected from the Election Protection Coalition hotline (1-866 OUR VOTE) and the Voter Action hotline, reports submitted from Election Day pollworkers through the Pollworkers for Democracy project and local and national news accounts collected by VotersUnite.Org.

In all, 1022 accounts of machine related problems from more than 300 counties in 36 states were examined and categorized. The report summarizes and provides contextual and comparative analysis of the difficulties caused by each type of equipment problem, such as machine malfunctions that impeded polls from opening, machine failures at poll closing and vote tabulation, and votes lost or changed on the voting machine screen. It also includes first hand accounts from voters and pollworkers describing the machine difficulties they encountered on Election Day and how the machines hampered the voting process.

The report recounts incidents of voters leaving without casting a vote because the machines would not start or broke down during Election Day. Machines often failed to record the voter’s correct choice on the ballot or summary screen and caused voters to question if their vote was recorded. Several pollworker accounts described problems closing the machines, retrieving vote totals from the computerized systems, and aggregating the totals with software, sometimes counting votes multiple times or failing to count them at all. The report suggests that in some cases votes were lost...

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