Optical Scan Counter Awards Election To Wrong Candidate

from the whooops dept

While the various conspiracy theories still seem to go a bit overboard, it’s becoming increasingly clear that there were a lot of very serious problems with the voting technology used in the election. The latest is a city council election in Indiana where the optical scanning technology awarded Democratic votes to a Libertarian candidate. A hand recount corrected the problem — but the only reason it drew attention was because the Libertarian candidate seemed to get way too many votes. The company who made the equipment swears they’ve never had such problems before, but suddenly more people are checking into other election results. At least, in this case, there was a way to recount the votes. With the e-voting systems, there’s no way to do such a thing.

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Comments on “Optical Scan Counter Awards Election To Wrong Candidate”

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Curmudgeon says:

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I still don’t understand it. Having electronic storage and computation, along with a voter-verified paper trail has got to be the most reliable and corruption-proof method ever. Far more than hand-written check marks, levers, punched holes, filled ovals, etc.

If we then built a way of aggregating the data centrally (polling place-to-county, county-to-state, state-to-federal, or any similar thing) via XML, there would be vastly fewer errors, and fully verifiable (yet anonymous) traceability.

This is, dare I say it, a rather trivial programming task, far simpler than financial transactions, etc. that occur millions of times each day. It just goes to show how governments love to avoid the obvious and make things overly complicated.

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