Texas Pulls Voting Reg System From IBM After Multimillion System Can't Recover Lost Data

from the that's-not-good dept

EFF points us to yet another massively expensive computer system that can't do some rather basic things. Apparently the state of Texas has pulled its election systems from an $863 million computer system project it had with IBM, after failures and glitches in the system took down the voter system and lost data, which was unrecoverable. State officials realized that if this had happened during an actual election, the state wouldn't have been able to verify new voters, in violation of federal law. So, it dumped IBM and set up its own system that (gasp) actually has multiple backups of the data. I guess things like redundant backups aren't included in the $863 million package.


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  1.  
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    aguywhoneedstenbucks (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 5:59pm

    They should sue IBM and give that money back to the people who paid for it. However I'd hate to suggest that since there is no income tax here and I don't want them looking too closely at implementing one.

     

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    Mark P, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 7:41pm

    Figures...

    This is just the latest example of private outsourcing by the State of Texas turning into a debacle, but will this change Gov. Perry's conviction that the private sector can always do a better job than the government? Heck no. What chance does actual evidence have in the face of conservative orthodoxy?

     

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    Ben in TX (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 7:57pm

    Re: Figures...

    Governor Perry hasn't shown much ability to apply logic to his positions, so there's not really any reason to expect him to now. I think the voters are going to turn on him and vote in Hutchinson.

     

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    Ben in TX (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 8:00pm

    I wonder...

    I wonder if Texas would have booted IBM if they hadn't been on track to break federal law.

    I'm thrilled to see TX protect voter rights, but I don't trust the state to protect voter's rights on principle alone.

     

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    wnyght (profile), Nov 5th, 2009 @ 8:47pm

    "I guess things like redundant backups aren't included in the $863 million package."

    that option is not included from the factory, the dealer has to install it...duh!

     

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    TomS, Nov 5th, 2009 @ 9:24pm

    Re: Figures...

    Here, here. Well put. We see the same thing in the federal government, outsourcing to the private sector usually results in more taxpayer dollars wasted. Projects done by contractors cost 3-5x more than if they were done by our own employees. Sometimes you need consultants, yes, but they shouldn't run projects.

     

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    Spanky, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 3:59am

    re

    Yeah, but considering the state of things in Texas, I'm surprised this wasn't viewed as a proof of concept.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 4:32am

    I can just imagine the story when one of those "multiple backups" goes missing and turns up being used as a telephone sales list or something.

     

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    staff3, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 8:57am

    So why would we want to trust IBM to "reform" our patent system? They are slugs.

     

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    Derek Reed (profile), Nov 6th, 2009 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Figures...

    I'd argue this is a failure of government to actually use the private sector. There are multiple companies "out there" who could do this job, and bid it under 863 million, and provide adequate backups and redundancy.

    Whatever means were used to select IBM and whatever requirements were not given (or given and not met) are clearly at least part of the problem here.

     

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    Rob, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 12:44pm

    Backups don't guarantee recover is posible

    Having backups, even redundant backups, don't guarantee that recover is possible. I've seen it many times where it turns out the backup media is bad or wasn't done correctly.

    When was the last time you tested your backup system? The answer for most people is never.

    And what if the government does a worse job at this than the private sector. I can hardly wait.

     

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    Bobo, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 3:55pm

    What did you expect

    As we all know, IBM was taken over by India, Inc. a long ago. The "best and the brightest" from India keeping America competitive.

    These people are SO incompetent, they can't even get govt work right. No wonder the U.S. economy is going into the toilet with India, Inc. running everything.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 6th, 2009 @ 8:32pm

    Backups don't guarantee recover is posible

    Try the DROBO approach they succeeded is a fantastic piece of equipment and is so simple.

    HDDs + Virtual Filesystems + resources management + security probes.

    The only thing missing is the endless redundancy from the Linux core that have thousands of backups all over the world so unless the end of humanity or the world comes there will be linux kernels somewhere LoL

     

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    Lurker 2000, Nov 7th, 2009 @ 3:09pm

    IBM, once killed jews

    Wow. IBM couldn't make backups. Then Texas booted IBM.

    From a qualitative analysis standpoint, I wonder how is this going to affect "big iron" sales.

     

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