Just as a judge has decided that there couldn't possibly be any technical glitches on e-voting machines, reports are coming out of New Mexico that voters using e-voting machines tried to vote for one candidate and saw checkmark appear next to the other candidate. The whole thing sounds a bit suspicious. Voting officials blame (of course) "user error," suggesting they accidentally touched the screen in the wrong place. Ed Felten believes the machines are miscalibrated. Either one of these is quite scary. Even if the election officials are right, the fact that multiple people reported this problem suggests there's a real problem with these machines. If it is a calibration problem, that's even worse. The entire point of these machines is to let you vote accurately. The fact that they're making it into the voting booth miscalibrated to make clicking for one candidate really a vote for another suggests something is very, very wrong with the procedure required to set up and certify that these machines will safely and accurately record your vote.
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