Surprise, Surprise: E-Voting Glitches Found In Early Voting

from the this-is-a-surprise? dept

The GAO had warned that there would be some pretty massive e-voting problems this year, as election officials were not properly trained on the already problematic machines, so it should come as little surprise that over in West Virginia, the "early voting" procedures have resulted in numerous complaints that the e-voting machines selected the wrong candidate. The scenario is depressingly similar to the one that The Simpsons predicted, where the voter selects one name, and the other one shows up as highlighted. Poll workers told them to just keep clicking until the right one was chosen, and noted that the machines have "just been doing that."

What's more depressing is how everyone involved seems to brush this off as no big deal. Officials claimed that these "were isolated cases and that poll workers fixed the problems so the correct vote was cast." That may be true of the two people that CNN spoke too, but who knows if others got the machines to work properly. And then there's West Virginia's Secretary of State, Betty Ireland , who basically pulled a page from Sequoia's playbook, of covering her eyes and ears and screaming loudly that everything is fine:
"There are no problems with the machines as recalibrated. Touch-screen voting in West Virginia is accurate and secure."
Because you say so? As opposed to those who are actually voting and finding it's not? That's comforting.

In this case, the machines are supplied by ES&S whose machines (like both Sequoia and Diebold) have a relatively long history of screwing up at election time. ES&S is also the company where an employee of the company showed up here to berate us and insist that no independent experts should be allowed to look at the machines and that they were safe and reliable because those working at these firms knew better than the rest of us. It's as if the e-voting companies and the politicians think that if they just keep repeating it, maybe it will become true.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    World, Oct 24th, 2008 @ 8:03pm

    Just plain sad.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    inc, Oct 24th, 2008 @ 8:25pm

    this is why we need transparency and oversight. The voting machines should be open source

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2008 @ 8:38pm

    Relax

    Just go home folks. There's nothing to see here. Stay behind the yellow tape. Just go home....

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Jesus, Oct 24th, 2008 @ 9:56pm

    If there's even a HINT of something funny going on there will be riots. Bank on it.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Seriously, Oct 24th, 2008 @ 10:06pm

    If the Republicans find a way to steal THIS election there is going to be major hell to pay. Good thing they now have the right to use the military on US citizens in a "crisis".
    http://www.alternet.org/rights/101958/thousands_of_troops_are_deployed_on_u.s._streets_ready_to_ca rry_out_%22crowd_control%22/

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2008 @ 10:12pm

    Don't be complacent . Consider Volunteering

    It's because of this that I decided to volunteer during the Election. They gave me a fancy title of "Election Judge".

    Plus, I worked it out to get a paid personal day off, and also get a few hundred dollars for my time from the County. Not a bad deal to keep an eye on things.

    It's very easy to do, and if your interested, you should look into it too. Just call your Election Clerk. I bet they could use the help.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Bill, Oct 24th, 2008 @ 10:56pm

    Re: Voting Machines - by Seriously

    How do you know that this is a Republican plot? There was no mention of either party or which candidate was coming up instead of what the voter wanted.

    Personally I would look at ACORN who have said that almost half of the million new registrations across the country are false - Hellow Acorn and the Democraps who support them.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2008 @ 11:11pm

    Re: Re: Voting Machines - by Seriously

    Are you saying that Disney characters are not real people? How dare you!!

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 24th, 2008 @ 11:32pm

    An Observation

    It occurs to me, not being a USian and all, that one reason the voting-machine companies can get away with this bullshit is that any objections raised about their credibility can so easily be deflected into ad-hominem questions about whose side the objectors might be on, whereupon the whole debate degenerates into yet another episode of partisan bickering in which the original point is lost, and the voting-machine companies can take advantage of the distraction to keep right on plying their business as usual.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2008 @ 11:40pm

    Re: Re: Voting Machines - by Seriously

    I think a good starting point is to look at the history of Donetta Davidson which led her to the position she holds today.

    ACORN is a distraction used prior to the election only to provide credence for recounts.

    Oh there will be recounts. LOL. If you knew what I knew...

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Megyn Kelly, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 12:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Voting Machines - by Seriously

    It would be interesting if someone produced an ID at a voting precinct that read a Disney Character, wouldn't it?

    Your mixing things up-- Voter Registration fraud, is not Voting Fraud as Faux News wants you to believe. There is a difference.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 1:36am

    Do it by mail

    Is Oregon the only state in the union that has figured this voting crap out? Voting machines? How nineties...

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    puterhead, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 3:34am

    paperless electronic voting machines cannot be secured

    The conflict between the secrecy of a ballot and the need for a voter to vet their own vote cannot be resolved without an indelible physical trail, a paper trail of each ballot.

    Google on the 'underhanded C contest' for examples of inscrutable code-even open source cannot assure the voter that their votes are accurately and honestly recorded without an eyeball-verifiable permenant trail and chain of custody.

    Google on "Spoonamore affidavit" to learn how the Z80 hardware based electronic voting machines can be reprogrammed on the fly with no evidence of the code revisions.

    I've been writing computer code since 1972, and I cannot be more confident that absent such a paper trail, the voting systems can easily be corrupted. Given the inexplicable "man-in-the-middle" chain of custody that some states now use, routing their electronic votes to a third party before counting them, only a physical indelible ballot can suss out the fraud that makes possible, and is evidently happening.

    In a recent election that I inspected, the electronic voting machines were modem equipped, could be programmed on the fly, and the paper tape trail easily spoofed by cooking the results before hand and simply scrolling the paper tape back into the machine. The standard procedures would not have detected that spoof, and all the custodial witnesses would sign off on the results in good faith- they "saw" the machine print those results...or so they thought. Odder yet, state law denied a hand review of the signature book vs the reported vote count until all the records had been handed to the state for some months...so no-one could even make the immediate and obvious spot check for such a spoof until the chain of custody of the records became muddy and the records stale.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    No Six Pack, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 7:38am

    $$$ > vote

    Why are the ATMs secure, but the voting machines are not ?
    Same comapny, same tech, different customer.

    Ah ha !

    So, money is more important than election

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 8:20am

    Re: Do it by mail

    You mean one of the two states that doesn't trust its citizens to pump their own gas?

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Jeff Nolan, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 8:30am

    online or offline, fraud is fraud

    Fraud is fraud, whether it be on a voting machine, in a voting booth with a paper ballot or on a registration form.

    ACORN is not a distraction, it's a window into a real problem that spans multiple states and involves a staggering number of voter registrations, 13 Obama campaign workers in Ohio (including the spokeswoman for Obama Ohio) just cut a deal with prosecutors to avoid prosecution by formally requesting to have their mail in ballots pulled, and the owner of a firm the GOP here in California hired to register voters was just arrested for vote registration fraud.

    Defenders say voter registration fraud is not a problem, it's vote fraud and it is regularly caught but that argument is an attempt to prove a negative. If I catch one person committing income tax evasion, can I then assume that no one else is successfully doing so? You simply can't prove voter fraud doesn't happen because you successfully catch select instances of it.

    Voter registration fraud is the precursor to vote fraud and by definition inflating voter rolls is a form of social engineering that in itself is voter fraud.

    I hope more instances of these fractures in the integrity of our voting system come to light so that it gets taken seriously and reforms are implemented. We need secure electronic voting, voter identification systems, and standards for cross checking databases and systems across states and the feds.

    If voters don't have confidence that their votes are being counted and not altered or stolen by the presence of illegal votes, then we all lose. This isn't a partisan issue, it cuts to the core of what it means to be an American. Citizenship has but one requirement, to vote, and it should be a sacred obligation of our elected and civil service officials to provide the most accessible and most secure voting system in the world.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 10:04am

    Re: An Observation

    Isn't it the same everywhere and through history? Create an artificial difference and exploit it to hide reality. See the Catholic/Protestant conflict in Northern Ireland or the incessant anti-French, anti-Japan, anti-"you pick" protests in China. Did you ever notice that the only differences between the two major parties in the US revolve around 4 basic talking points? It is all about generating fear and who will take what from you.

    Re: $$$ > vote
    "Why are the ATMs secure, but the voting machines are not ?"

    LOL, ATMs aren't secure.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    No Six Pack, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 10:07am

    Re: online or offline, fraud is fraud

    This thread is about the voting machines. Enough with the thread jacking please.

    Oh ... and Acorn flagged those fraudulent forms and reported them, did they not ? Old news, you're flogging a dead horse.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Uh Huh, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 10:13am

    Re:

    So what you're saying, is that the party that says they have no morals or values, thus don't feel compelled to resign over a sex scandal will be the party taking the high ground on this one issue? PLEEASE

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Replica, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 10:47am

    Re:

    No, it's not sad. It's treason.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Tyson, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 10:58am

    I still fail to understand why these companies are so terrified of letting an independent review board examine their machines and release a report if they truly feel that there is nothing wrong with them.

    If you were the developer of a product that was taking a lot of heat unfairly, wouldn't you welcome an independent review to finally crush the rumors and eliminate the need for you to sound like a broken record over and over again?

    The only reason I can see for keeping something like this from being looked at by an independent review board is if you know for certain there is something seriously wrong and you don't want to be forced into a situation where you are required to fix it.

    I don't believe that any one candidate is responsible for this, but that these companies are simply lazy and don't want to debug their programming so that it works properly.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Jeff Nolan, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re: online or offline, fraud is fraud

    No No Six Pack, this isn't about voting machines, it's about the integrity of our elections system. Voting machines exist for just one purpose and the concern about fraud in elections rises above the technology tools. We deal with inherently insecure technology every day, even in our banking system, yet no other application of technology represents stakes that are so high.

    And no, ACORN didn't flag all fraudulent registrations. ACORN is under formal investigation in 11 states and in 3 other states they are merely suspected of illegal activities. Your response is nothing more than partisan "nothing to see here, move on" and it discredits you because you trivialize by suggesting a few registrations were found to be ineligible and turned over. Please, that's like suggesting the problems on wall street are because a few mortgages in south florida are in default.

    If you are genuinely interested in going beyond your provided talking points on ACORN, read this:
    http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/ACORN

    Ask yourself, if it were just the GOP raising the voting machine issue, would you care?

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    No Six Pack, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: online or offline, fraud is fraud

    In this thread, the only place I find the word "fraud" is in the comments. It appears eleven times in your post alone. At the expense of being a pain, I will reiterate, this thread is about the voting machines. From what I have read, the voting machine problem is not due to any political party - do you have evidence to the contrary? Why you attempt to divert the thread topic is your problem. This is not the place for your personal rant.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    I have a wide stance, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 12:37pm

    Re: Uh Huh

    You *are* referring to Larry Craig, I assume?

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    mdewey, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Seriously...

    Man... you need to do your homework. The Dems have been involved in election fraud as long as I can remember. As a matter of fact, most of the well known cases involved Dems. Read The Path to Power (about LBJ and his antics - especially the dead people in Duvall county), read about what Mayor Daly did in the 1960 election and the voting of dead people for Kennedy. Hell to pay??? Are you kidding me? The crap that went down in 2000 pales in comparison to the crap the Dems have pulled on past election days. Stole the election?!?! LOL!!! Forget Acorn already? Oh, I almost forgot, how about the 13 in Franklin County Ohio who just got caught trying to vote early??? oops they are not from Ohio (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2113734/posts).

    What a joke.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    TN, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re: Voting Machines - by Seriously

    I heard on Dave Ross radio show 710 AM in Seattle, that was Senator McCain's name was highlighted while the voter touch the name of Senator Obama. It does not matter whose name is highlighted, the vote should be counted precisely and accurately. Otherwise, what is the point of ELECTion?

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    TN, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 1:48pm

    Why do we have IRS to audit your tax record but we don't have any agency to audit these voting machine? Talk about the right to vote, people take it for granted and don't think it is the most important civil right. I think every vote should be counted accurately in order to honor the person's right to vote.

    These machines should be audited and must generate the paper trail. We do get a receipt for everything we buy, we have to keep tax records and other important document, but we don't get a proof of our vote (which is more important than any sale receipts or tax records).

    VOTE on Nov. 4th (if you register)

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    edd, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 2:52pm

    "if they just keep repeating it, maybe it will become true."

    That's because that is how political ads work. It doesn't have to be true, just repeated and people will think of it when they go vote. It is only natural that politians act that way, and no surprise about these machines.

    Didn't we find out a long time ago that it doesn't matter who we vote for because the elected person doesn't NEED to win the vote count to become president.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Rich Kulawiec, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 3:32pm

    Even open source is NOT sufficient

    As I've pointed out previously, even equpping the voting machines with open-source software, heavily peer-reviewed (as we can no doubt expect it would be), even formally proven, is still woefully insufficient.

    Briefly, we must assume an attacker budget of at minimum $100M (based on Schneier's 2004 estimate) and I think a more realistic value these days is $250M. That's enough money to pay for custom chip fabrication and other difficult-to-detect manipulations of voting systems.

    The way to avoid this is to avoid the systems: pencil and paper.

    As to the diversionary discussion about other mechanisms of fraud, two comments: first, you should educate yourself about the different between voter registration fraud and voter fraud. Unless you are fully conversant in that distinction, you are insufficiently informed to provide any meaningful comments or opinions. Second, given the ill-advised use of computerized voting systems in the US, it is presently far cheaper, far easier, and much less risky to use THOSE to rig an election than to rely on
    good old-fashioned methods like ballots-from-the-dead.
    So if you are sincerely considered with the integrity of
    the election process, you will put aside, for now, the quite trivial impact of both Republican and Democratic voter registration shenanigans, and focus your attention instead on the far more massive problem of computerized voting systems.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 3:54pm

    Re: An Observation

    Isn't it the same everywhere and through history?

    Not really, no. Other democracies, like India and Australia, seem quite capable of using voting machines in a transparent and robust fashion to conduct free and fair elections, but the US continues to have great trouble with this.

    And just look at some of the comments posted after my first one, to reinforce the point about how quickly such discussions degenerate into partisan bickering.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    George Van, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 4:10pm

    Surprise , Surprise

    There is a late nite talk show called "Coast to Coast AM"
    hosted by a man named Gerge Nory who has had several guest on the show over the past few years who have warned us time and time again about these Elc. Voteing Machines. Dosen,t anyone listen to talk raido at nite?
    If you did, this would not be any suprise at all. These machines are made to fail so the voteing can be rigged. Each time they keep clicking on the candadite they want to vote for and it shows up for the other candadite, they are told to keep clicking. Every click is a vote for the other guy that they dont want to vote for. Go ahead ,KEEP CLICKING. That is why they say the pools mean nothing anymore.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    IanK, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 5:44pm

    How hard could it be?

    I haven't written a computer program in a while, so I'm a bit rusty. However, I reckon the level of computer programming skill required to create such a software to work properly is high school level. I'm talking about a 1st semester high school programming subject. To get the touchscreen to communicate with the program, it would require a 1st year university student.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Brendan, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 5:47pm

    Re: An Observation

    "Other democracies, like India and Australia, seem quite capable of using voting machines in a transparent and robust fashion to conduct free and fair elections"

    Australia does not, never has and will not use voting machines.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    No Six Pack, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 6:45pm

    Re: How hard could it be?

    You are correct. It is easy to increment multiple accumulators and tabulate results. The difficult part is to secure them against nefarious intentions.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 6:49pm

    Re:

    Keep reading your propaganda sites. I love people who read partisan and sometimes just completely outrageous sites (Daily Kos) and use them as their proof of something.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    quintox, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 6:50pm

    voting E-machines

    I let Diebold vote for me!

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 6:59pm

    Surprise, surprise does it really matter when voter fraud is happening all over the country anyways?

     

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  38.  
    identicon
    anon, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Re: Voting Machines - by Seriously

    This article didn't mention it, but the Charleston, WV Gazette _did_ mention the party. All the problems were votes for Obama ending up going to McCain.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Seriously, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 10:03pm

    Re: The Fate of Democracy

    I am an American Citizen and I have fears and doubts about the honesty and efficacy of our voting system. The world once looked to the grand ideal of the US election system. Now I hear a chuckle every time a US agency is overseeing a foreign election.
    Our military "interventions" can be chalked up to the hubris of a regime. Our economic folly can be chalked up to the greed of a moneyed class. But this great experiment must defend the voice of the people as the last light in dark times.
    These non-verifiable voting systems not only undermine this truth, but the cynical and overt twisting of the ballot box undermines the promise that Democracy itself extends to those voting in this country, and in every country where the people go to the polls, trusting that the truth of the people's voice can end the fear, pain and injustice of hubris and greed.

    Give me a receipt that tells me how I voted. Put a serial number on the receipt.

    Please. Before it is too late.

     

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  40.  
    identicon
    Bill, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 11:20pm

    Re: Re: online or offline, fraud is fraud

    Your statement of Acorn being old news then why does it come up every election that they are out there registering fake people or one person multiple times. Dishonesty is dishonesty - plain and simple. For me it washing away any and all good that Acorn has ever done and should not get any more government funds - just like CEO's who run a company into the ground, leave with a Golden Parachute should have their GP taken away and their credentials removed and never ever be a CEO ever again.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Bill, Oct 25th, 2008 @ 11:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Voting Machines - by Seriously

    Dishonesty is dishonesty - How many fraudulent registrations are there that no one has caught yet. I have seen false registrations in a non-for-profit because the powers to be kept their job in order to keep their job!

    AS for a Disney character on an ID that was pulled in Basic Military Training when I was a recruit in the USAF during the South East Asian War Games of the late 60's and early 70's. We had two door guards fall for that one. The ID had Mickey Mouse as the photo and his name Mickey Mouse - Poor kid was misdirected by the oak leafs on the officer's shoulder.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 12:42am

    I heard a good one today.
    Prevent voter fraud-- Vote for JOHN McCain !!!

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 12:43am

    I heard a good one today.
    Prevent voter fraud-- Vote for JOHN McCain !!!

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 12:45am

    Re: How hard could it be?

    Well, from the CNN article you have this.

    Ireland directed the state's county clerks to recalibrate their machines each morning during the early voting period and on Election Day.

    Why is "recalibration" needed for a digital voting machine? It appears that the reason for that these guys are designing voting machines with touchscreens.

    It is the touchscreen that needs calibration as described in this article from two years ago.

    The code to tabulate the vote counts is trival (as in suitable for that "1st semester high school programming subject"). It's the extra care needed from the poll workers for the touchscreen that seems to be the problem.

    The Secretary of State is trying to make sure that everyone knows that this calibration step is essential for these touchscreen voting machines to work properly.

    I suppose the voting machine designers could have gone with the simpler (and cheaper) monitor with buttons on the side found in older ATM machines. The display would say something like "To vote for candidate xyz, push this button -->". The only thing you need to worry about is a button with a bad contact.

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 1:22am

    In what Country are these E voting machines being made?
    This could creat a questionable doute about their creditabilty and wether we should trust them. I bet the are not made here in the good ol' US of A

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    No Six Pack, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 7:35am

    Re: In what Country are these E voting machines being made

    Your concern is valid to a point. In fact, I read that the us gvmnt has been reviewing ICs used in products they purchase.

    But as a consumer, do you trust your computer ?
    Where do you think it was made ?

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    No Six Pack, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: How hard could it be?

    "Why is "recalibration" needed for a digital voting machine?"

    I would first look at the touch screen design, it is probably horrible. The voting machine manufacturer needs to remove and replace all those defective devices. However, the defect may or may not be software related. You do not know until you evaluate it. Assuming it is a hardware problem within the touch screen, a software fix would be subpar. That is probably what has already occurred. This example is one in many, and each machine seems to have its own little quirks. The one problem that they all share is the lack of securing the vote. Given enough time and resources every one of them could be owned. The trick, I suppose, is to make it just difficult enough to stop such attempts

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    john, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: Seriously...

    ...so you admit fraud in 2000? "The crap that went down in 2000..." at least your willing to do that, especially what the last 8 years have brought us (war, recession, loss of standing in the world)

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 9:48am

    Re:

    Also, who is responsible for certifying them and creating the standard?

    Note the date of this article. Spooky.
    http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/denver/stories/2008/09/15/story2.html

     

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  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 9:55am

    Come on , quit being so negitive. At least you still have booth of your hands and your toung hasn't been cut out for being so negitive.That war and the stock mkt. troubles are all for the good of the country. You think if Big O gets voted in and the talibine takes over you will be able to comment on sites like this with such negitivity ?
    Now lets go out and Vote !!

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 9:58am

    New York, Ciber and the EAC

    Best quote:

    "the EAC and the unaccredited testing lab are refusing to open
    the curtain that hides their soiled laundry."



    From: Doug Kellner
    Sent: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 12:46 AM
    Subject: New York, Ciber and the EAC


    On January 4, 2007, the New York State Board of Elections voted to suspend
    Ciber from further testing of voting systems
    submitted to the New York State
    board for certification pending a thorough review of Ciber's accreditation
    status. We also addressed requests to both the Election Assistance
    Commission and to Ciber for all of the relevant documents and reports
    concerning Ciber's application to the EAC for accreditation as a testing
    laboratory.

    Much to our surprise (well, maybe I'm not really surprised), EAC has still
    not provided any of the background documentation that we have requested.

    While giving lip service acknowledgement of our request, Tom Wilkey, now
    Executive Director of the US EAC and former Executive Director of the New
    York State Board of Elections, has completely stonewalled us. The New York
    State board felt compelled to make a formal Freedom of Information Act
    request. Mr. Wilkey's only response so far is that the EAC is reviewing the
    issue and is deciding how to respond.

    This failure to provide relevant information to a state agency, the first in
    the country to require testing to the 2005 standards, is truly outrageous
    and scandalous.
    Not only does it further delay New York's efforts to come
    into compliance with the Help America Vote Act, it seriously prejudices the
    five voting system vendors who have made such a substantial investment in
    trying to obtain certification to the rigorous standards set by New York.
    In addition to requiring compliance with VVSG 2005, New York law requires a
    voter verifiable paper audit trail, prohibits devices or functionality
    potentially capable of internet, radio or wireless data communication,
    requires escrow of all software including source codes and authorizes
    disclosure in court proceedings; our regulations require full disclosure of
    all political contributions by vendors and their executives and set several
    other standards that are more rigorous than the VVSG.

    While there is general agreement at the New York State Board that we should
    be looking to the EAC to assist and guide us in our investigation,
    we also
    made a formal request to Ciber for the same information. After all, they do
    hold a $3 million contract from our agency. There has been nothing but
    similar stonewalling from Ciber.
    Ciber's last communication regarding our
    information request was that they were trying to co-ordinate a response with
    the EAC.

    What's going on here? Both the EAC and the unaccredited testing lab are
    refusing to open the curtain that hides their soiled laundry.
    Co-ordination
    of the response suggests that we are only going to receive a laundered
    version of the facts.

    I have also become increasingly annoyed with Ciber's use of the label
    "confidential competition-sensitive" on reports
    that they have prepared for
    our agency at our expense. You may recall that in November I circulated for
    comments Ciber's first draft of their report to explain New York's
    interpretation of the exceptions to the exemption from testing of Commercial
    Off the Shelf (COTS)software that is used in the voting machine itself as
    opposed to election management software that does not generate code used in
    the actual voting process. (Yes, "exception to the exemption" is a double
    negative that means that the COTS source code must be tested in those
    cases.)

    Ciber was apparently miffed that I dared to subject the advice that they
    furnished to New York to public scrutiny.
    They added the "confidential
    competition sensitive" label to the second draft. I objected and requested
    that they remove the label. Ciber said they'd think about it, but ignored my
    request. When I received the final document that had been approved by both
    Ciber and our independent security review consultants, New York State
    Technical Enterprise Corp. (NYSTEC), I insisted that I be allowed to make
    the document public. Ciber balked. When I renewed what had become demands,
    Ciber's attorney-yes their attorney-revised the technical report that the
    "experts" at Ciber and NYSTEC had determined to be final and said that he
    would not object to release of that report. (I have distributed that
    report, known as COTS Testing Version 4 to many). I then asked for an
    explanation why Version 3, the "final" report was still labeled
    confidential. I also gave formal notice that I would ask the commissioners
    to release the report. Last night Ciber's in-house attorney wrote me that
    he agreed that there was nothing in the "final" report that was properly
    labeled competition sensitive. The New York commissioners voted the make
    the Version 3 "final" COTS report public today. I will send copies of
    Version 3 to the technical blogs and anyone else who requests it.
    I am
    still distressed, however, at Ciber's efforts to stiffle discussion of the
    issue by improperly claiming confidentiality.

    At today's meeting of the New York State elections commissioners, while
    everyone deplored the stonewalling by EALC and Ciber, I requested authority
    to issue a subpoena to Ciber for all of the documents
    that we have
    requested. Republican Commissioner Helena Donohue blocked the subpoena by
    arguing that we should give Ciber additional time to respond to our request
    voluntarily. She said that she would reconsider issuing a subpoena at our
    next meeting scheduled for February 7.

    In view of the collaboration between the EAC and Ciber, I am determined that
    we should not accept partial disclosure. New York should take a stand to
    end the veil of secrecy that shrouds the testing process.


    Douglas A. Kellner
    Co-Chair
    New York State Board of Elections

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 10:14am

    Damn the socialists hate the idea of fair elections.

    It's amazing how bad fair elections scare he shit out of socialists. They know the only way they win elections is through lies, fear mongering, spreading hate, name calling, and voter fraud. Voter machines scare them because they know that they can't hide the fraud when it's electronic with audit trails. Same with voter id, you make people show id's to vote, they can't drive around buses full of homeless to vote in every precinct they can hit in a day.

     

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  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 10:14am

    Damn the socialists hate the idea of fair elections.

    It's amazing how bad fair elections scare he shit out of socialists. They know the only way they win elections is through lies, fear mongering, spreading hate, name calling, and voter fraud. Voter machines scare them because they know that they can't hide the fraud when it's electronic with audit trails. Same with voter id, you make people show id's to vote, they can't drive around buses full of homeless to vote in every precinct they can hit in a day.

     

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  54.  
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    Cecil Green, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 10:26am

    Beverly Harris has been covering this for years.

    I cannot believe that out of all of these comments not one person has mentioned Bev Harris' work investigating black box voting. Since 2000, she's been documenting electronic voter fraud happening on both sides of the ballot. It IS NOT a LEFT or RIGHT thing. Both parties are controlled by lobbyists. It is not SOCIALISM that we live under -- it's called CORPORATE FASCISM. Give Bev some credit, fools. Watch "Hacking Democracy", if nothing else.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Source, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 10:31am

    Douglas A. Kellner is right.

    Every step in the process of election, administration should be observable by voters, candidates and public-minded citizens and organizations. We should ban the word "trust" from the vocabulary of election administration.

    The concern over so called "black box voting" is that neither the public nor the voter can be certain that a voter’s ballot is actually going to be recorded and counted as the voter intended.

    We must guard against delegating to a very small group of computer and statistical experts who have access the responsibility for verifying the integrity of elections.

    Twenty years ago there was an outcry by democracy advocates against the old Mexican system where the paper ballots were taken to election offices and counted in secret by the election officials appointed by the ruling party.

    While Mexico changed its process so that everyone could observe the ballot count, in this country we have gone in the opposite direction where the vote count has often been entrusted to computers and those who have programmed them. Instead we must make the process of counting votes transparent and provide for public verification of those results. When election monitors are denied access to the programming and source code that actually counts the votes, it is impossible to verify that the vote was cast in the manner intended by the voter.

    That is why it is absolutely essential that any electronic voting system have a paper trail that can be verified by the voter. Of course, that paper trail is meaningless unless it is actually audited to confirm that the machine count matches the paper verified by the voter.

     

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  56.  
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    Dr. Hubert J. Farnsworth, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 10:32am

    Re: Seriously

    If the Democrats find a way to steal THIS election there is going to be major hell to pay.

     

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  57.  
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    Dr. Hubert J. Farnsworth, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Voting Machines - by Seriously

    Not so concerned with Disney characters, just names that don't correspond to real people.
    Consider how easily one can obtain a false driver's license or other identification in the U.S.
    Voter Registration fraud is the FIRST STEP to Voting Fraud.
    Thought you were smart enough to figure that out.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Prof. Hubert J. Farnsworth, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 10:47am

    Re: Do it by mail

    No, Oregon is not the only state with advance voting.
    DUH!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance_voting#United_States

     

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  59.  
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    Jeremy McMillan, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 10:49am

    Open Source voting machines

    The count should be open sourced too. Election officials should anonymize each ballot, and they should allow competitive systems to count the exact same ballots.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Steve, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 10:55am

    Bring in Chavez

    Perhaps we could ask Venezuelans , the North Koreans, the Kenyans, the Indonesians, or the Nigerians to come in and monitor our election.

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Ariana Brantley, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voting Machines - by Seriously

    In regards to Acorn's supposed Voter Registration "Fraud", A quote comes to mind:

    "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

    Whit that in mind, don't you know that the system has built-in quality measures? Some 400,000 names were dumped for one reason or another, most likely because of duplication. When someone comes to your house asking if your registered, by jimminey, you may want to re-register because you recently moved, or are unsure if you are in fact registered because you didn't vote the previous year. In conclusion, I think grandstanding about voter registration fraud is unfounded hooey.

    Your Joesph Goebbels-inspired fear tactics are worthless, at best.

    Get back on topic, this is about E-Voting.
    Thought you were smart enough to figure that out.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    No Six Pack, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 11:09am

    Re: Damn the socialists hate the idea of fair elections.

    In your "Socialist" reference are you referring to; Gloria La Riva, Brian Moore, or Rodger Calero ?

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Trp, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 1:56pm

    Re:

    by Jesus - Oct 24th, 2008 @ 9:56pm

    If there's even a HINT of something funny going on there will be riots. Bank on it.


    -Like 8 years ago? This isn't a new issue.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Mark Regan, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 5:44pm

    Computer for President, Cell Phone for VP

    McCain, the Bush Clone, has identified a voting fraud conspiracy orchestrated by Obama and his terrorist friends, including paying ACORN to register Mickey Mouse and thousands of his mousy friends, using Twitter, the Internet, and Cell Phones to engage in conspiracies to bring down Wall Street, Big Banks, Big Business, and Big Brother, all in the name of Socialism, in order to promote abortion, homosexuality, higher taxes for wealthy Republicans and increasing food stamp allotments during these tough economic times in order to cause the downfall of our "democracy".

    The only solution is to "drill here, drill now" and "fight for our freedom" by killing all uppity elite liberals who control the media which is always picking on Palin's $150,000 pantsuit or designer dress habit. These Obama subversives MUST be destroyed so McCain can fight for the average billionaire to retain his tax write-offs and waivers and rebates and credits.

    Our enemy is within, and we MUST send every one of them back to Africa or Iraq or wherever else they come from. And it is most important for John McCain to continue refusing to attend his family reunions in Mississippi as long as the black McCains who are descendants of his slaving owning great-grandfather are there with McCain's brother and cousin.

    True racists should unite and oppose both Obama and McCain. One is ashamed of his black half, and the other denies his black relatives even exist. Even Palin's husband's race is polluted by an Eskimo lineage that weren't even US citizens until 49 years ago. What has America come to? The country is being overtaken by Muslims, Eskimos, Africans, Mexicans, and other scruffy sorts of terrorists, instead of the regular sort we have been used to: The Italian Mafiosa, the Irish Travelers, The German Nazis, and Roman Papists.

    It is time for us to throw all the bums out and elect a computer President, and a cell phone for Vice President.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Brendan Isafool, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 6:07pm

    Re: Re: An Observation

    "Australia does not, never has and will not use voting machines."

    oh really?
    http://www.aec.gov.au/Voting/e_voting/index.htm

    http://www.softimp.com.au/evacs/News%20I tems/news26Nov07.html

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Bob, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 7:19pm

    Open

    Open elections with paper and my thumb made purple.

     

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  67.  
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    Anti-Socialist, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 7:25pm

    Wow, it's scary that most of you feel you are intelligent

    These machines are not dubious. They are glass-plated touch screens and people are touching near the borders of the candidate box, which causes the wrong pixels to be selected. It's like looking at the speedometer of a car from the passenger seat, the angle distorts the true location.

    There is no conspiracy, no disenfranchisement going on. Simple PEBKAC errors. Further more, the ballot does not cast until you push a separate button to 'cast' the ballot. You can choose one candidate or the other a hundred times, and it doesn't count until you cast the ballot. There is no foul, just hoards of sheep bah-ing and vomiting what they heard someone else say is a foul. I'm sure glad to be an American, but sad that it's the people who cannot deduce from their own educated minds which way the wind blows and that the speed of darkness is exactly as fast as the speed of light.

    Mark Regan, you are an idiot, sir. I laugh at your comments, and fear the power of democracy if the majority of Americans are as dumb as you are.

     

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  68.  
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    The end of it all, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 11:02pm

    @Anti-Socialist

    When you stop to look at the larger scope of things, simply pointing to PEBKAC is not acceptable, not even for a second.

    So I would suggest you stop and look into ADA Title II requirements, which also ties into Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as well as 42 U.S.C. §12131–12165.

    Of course, if your voting machine company who is looking to push out machines, I imagine your goals are different in scope, and probably not to really understand the scrutiny in which Government will be under if ADA Title II, Section 504, or 42 U.S.C. §12131–12165 entitlements are not provided, which then lead to challenges, well...

    Well, there's your problem- The machine wasn't designed like a calculator-- something a dummy could use.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    The end of it all, Oct 26th, 2008 @ 11:05pm

    @Anti-Socialist

    Sorry I meant Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Andrew, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 1:18am

    Puh-Leeze

    if there were a single case of the vote being flipped to Obama when someone was trying to vote McCain, it would be all over FOX News.

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    IT Dude, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 6:03am

    What they really meant

    Officials claimed that these "were isolated cases and that poll workers corrected the problems so the fixed vote was cast."

    Much better

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Mover, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 6:06am

    Touch Screen Machine Problems

    It seems some pages weren't displaying properly.

    Recall the brouhaha over the 2006 Buchanan v Jennings race, where officials approximate 20,000 "under votes", and the ensuing lawsuit. The officials and the courts determined that there was no "fraud", so the results were finally accepted.

    I talked to a co-worker who used those same machines in that election and he said that the Buchanan/Jennings (BvJ)choice never appeared on any screen. When he got to the last screen, that displays the voter's choices for review, the BvJ race was not marked at all. He had to scroll back to that page and try again. He found it by the fact that it was the only page where no candidates where displayed on the touch screen. Only the upper line and angle downward of the boxes for each candidate at the bottom of the screen. He said he touched the screen on one of them and saw a change in that area, scrolled forward to the end and saw that he had voted for who he wanted to vote for in the BvJ race.

    I live in the same district, but different county, where we use the optical scan voting machines.

    I never heard nor read one word of that situation throughout the entire year of the post election complaints and lawsuit.

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 6:06am

    Re:

    "You think if Big O gets voted in and the talibine takes over..."

    Looks like someones been drinking the Koolaid!! or, is that suppose to be sarcasim?

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 6:10am

    I agree that it is the touch screens that are the problem. Much of this could be solved however with good old usability. Instead of putting the canidates on top of each other, where there borders touch, but them next to each other and provide a gap.

    i.e. instead of

    O Obama
    O McCain

    use

    O Obama O McCain

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Chrome Dome, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 7:05am

    Touch screen Machine are not the Problem

    We have touch screen voting here in Tennessee and they work fine. The problem that I find when I work at the polls is that people rush through and hit the wrong button, not that someone has hacked in and changed the code. If you think that it is just sad and outragous.

    My recomendations is to slow down take your time make sure that you are touching the corect spot on the screen. If there is a problem don't finish and they say my vote is wrong it's too late at that point. If there is a problem tell one of the election officals and get your ballet filled out the way you want.

    The olny people that ware trying to rig the election is ACORN!!!! lol :)

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    Charlie, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 7:12am

    As I've said before, as someone from the future, you are all dead. What does it matter? You are all worm food.

     

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  77.  
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    Casey, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 7:39am

    Government agencies

    To throw this further off topic, since we've already been halfway around the world with this one.

    I think it's great that the government can't run a simple election, can't figure out how to count the right name when someone clicks on something, but the liberals want the government controlling every aspect of our healthcare through socialized medicine.

    I can't wait to walk in to the doctors office for a cough and leave with half my bowels and a spleen missing. At least I wouldn't have had to pay though.

    No seriously, can anyone name an efficient well run government agency? Other than the post office, which is closer to a private organization at this point.

     

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  78.  
    icon
    Danny (profile), Oct 27th, 2008 @ 8:39am

    one voter's experience in Chicago

    I early voted last week in Chicago. I was offered a Sequoia machine - this is the first time I've done touch screen voting; my previous polling place in Chicago used a chaddish punchcard system.

    The actual voting process - touching a big box next to the candidate's name - was very easy. However, I didn't find the navigation process all that intuitive. It was the sort of thing that after you do it several times it is obvious, but there is a bit of a learning curve for navigation.

    The voting process had me go through the full list of candidates (there were lots of yes/no judge retention items) three times. The first time through I actually touched the screen to vote. I think there were a total of 13 or so screens I had to traverse. The second time through I was shown my vote result and had to confirm or change. Then a paper ballot was generated - it was on a paper roll that was shown but was retained inside the machine like the store copy of the cash register tape at a supermarket - and I had to confirm the text on the paper roll was correct. Then I was done.

    My sense (though I did not clock it) is that voting took me two to three times as long as it used to take using the punch card method.

    I have zero sense of any errors in my voting process; I can say I feel confident my vote was recorded correctly.

    The whole process required a higher cognitive load than voting previously required.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Registrair, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 9:05am

    Re: online or offline, fraud is fraud

    Mr. Mouse has been registered to vote in excess of 50 million times in the united states.

    I think it's a touch ungracious of him that he has not ONCE voted.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    CastorTroy-Libertarian, Lover, General Annoyance f, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re: An Observation

    We are not a democracy, sorry to point it out. But the United States, is a Republic. Meaning the Voting for the President is a joke only the Electoral College counts. Your vote only "Advises" the people for your state...

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    james wilon, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 9:15am

    voteing

    Damn what a shame we can put a man on the moon build a space station send a rover to mars but can't have a voting machine boy what this world coming too.

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Techno, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 9:24am

    Annoyance Mitigation

    How about a few easy campaign and vote suggestions ?
    * For each ad mentioning another candidate's position, that party owes the other party an ad. That should cut down the blazing annoyance, and free 'speech' would still be possible.
    * For each election, there should be published, for each method of voting:
    - Total number of ballots received. (with voter check possible)
    - Number of ballots counted.
    - Number of ballots rejected (and why preferably).
    This would eliminate some of the basic criminal activity in the election process.

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    nasch, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 10:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voting Machines - by Seriously

    Voter registration fraud is wrong, and I hope nobody here is suggesting otherwise. However, to equate it to vote fraud is just incorrect. Vote fraud affects the outcome of the election, while registration fraud does not. They both need to be dealt with, but not necessarily in the same way.

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    nasch, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: An Observation

    That depends on your definition of "democracy". By some definitions the US is one, by others it is not.

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    JMG, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 10:44am

    Re: Surprise , Surprise

    Where did George Noory find the time to squeeze in E-Voting machines between all of the alien abductions, updates on the anti-Christ, and out-of-body experiences? I guess there haven't been any recent paranormal occurrences of note for discussion.

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voting Machines - by Seriously

    If Acorn registers 200,000 fake voters in say Ohio, imports voters from say Chicago and other places to vote Democrat and Obama wins ohio by say 50,000 votes, how does voter registration fraud not effect the outcome of an election?

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    voteing?, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 12:21pm

    Re: voteing

    Damn what a shame we can put a man on the moon build a space station send a rover to mars but can't have a voting machine boy what this world coming too.


    It's not that we can't produce a fairly secure & accurate voting machine, it's that we won't; because then it's more difficult to rig. ;)

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Techno, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 2:49pm

    Voter Count Stories

    I notice that many election 'count' stories are based on census data. The Alabama one, in particular, is bogus because the census 'data collectors' worked 9 to 5 one day a week trying to randomly catch people working 8 to 6 at home. In my neighborhood, about a third to half of the residents were missed.

     

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  89.  
    identicon
    No Six Pack, Oct 27th, 2008 @ 5:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voting Machines - by Seriously

    "If Acorn registers 200,000 fake voters in say Ohio, imports voters from say Chicago and other places to vote Democrat and Obama wins ohio by say 50,000 votes,"

    Care to provide corroborating references ?

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Spartan, Oct 29th, 2008 @ 6:57am

    Re:

    Are you for real? "Big O" and the "talibine",? Fear mongering has been the oldest form of subtle subversion in the filth smeared campaigning that has marked the Republican's startegy.

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Spartan, Oct 29th, 2008 @ 7:12am

    Re: Bring in Chavez

    ANd your point is ....? I happen to be Nigerian and am proud to say that, at least we are staring to rise out from underneath the suppressive thumb of millitary dictatorship whereas you my dear are rapidly headed there with all the talk of "Homeland Securtiy " and "Threat Levels".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 29th, 2008 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Voting Machines - by Seriously

    Nice dodge, but the point was to rebut the statement that was made about how registration fraud doesn't effect the outcome of an election. You quoted everything but:

    "how does voter registration fraud not effect the outcome of an election?"

    It's a hypothetical situation. After all, whats the point of all these fake registrations by ACORN if not to do something along the lines of this hypothetical?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93.  
    identicon
    Lindsey, Nov 4th, 2008 @ 3:55pm

    what is up with that, do those assholes think i am that stupid. I will trust my neighbor before i trust any politician or jerk who works for those voting machine company's, oh and spartan, you are absolutely correct.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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