Florida County Hoping Other States Will Buy Its Broken E-Voting Machines

from the buy-early-and-often dept

As the battle still rages over Sarasota County’s missing votes continues, it’s worth remembering that the county did also vote to scrap the e-voting machines in a referendum that was on the ballot. So, now, the county is trying to figure out how to go about scrapping those voting machines and getting new ones. The vendor for the current machines, ES&S has given them a $4.1 million estimate for new machines — though, it makes you wonder why the county is willing to stick with the same vendor after they delivered faulty machines for the last election. The county should be demanding a refund for the machines that clearly did not work — not figuring out how to pay the same company more for yet another batch of questionable machines. While they will seek bids from all the e-voting vendors, just the fact that they immediately went back to the current vendor to get an estimate suggests they still don’t recognize that they were sold dud machines. However, where the discussion gets really bizarre is that the county is saying that to reduce the cost of the new e-voting machines, they’re hoping to trade in the existing, broken, machines because some other states may want to use them. Apparently, the rest of the country needs to experience thousands of lost votes for themselves. From the elections supervisor: “Sarasota County needs to talk trade-in because they are marketable machines. Just because there is some controversy over the touch-screen machines here, doesn’t mean places like Georgia, Alabama, Washington, D.C., or Michigan won’t want them.”

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Comments on “Florida County Hoping Other States Will Buy Its Broken E-Voting Machines”

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Anonymous Coward says:

“Sarasota County needs to talk trade-in because they are marketable machines. Just because there is some controversy over the touch-screen machines here, doesn’t mean places like Georgia, Alabama, Washington, D.C., or Michigan won’t want them.”


/put on tinfoil hat

“They have served their purpose by rigging our election here, let’s get them in other places to do the same!”

/remove tinfoil hat

Joel Coehoorn says:

It seems obvious to me that the election officials themselves believe there is no problem at all with the current machines, in spite of the fact that their populace clearly disagrees.

This highlights the axiom that “it’s never about technology; it’s about people.” The referendum never should have been to replace the machines (though that would still be the goal), but to replace the officials who still don’t think there is a problem.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: *sigh*

I hate stupid people. They serve no purpose in life.

Oh yes they do! Next time you go to Burger king (or whatever) just think of how happy you are that there is someone that cannot do your job and is stuck doing a job like that.

Our society could NOT survive if everyone refused to do the sucky jobs cause they were too smart.

I love ignorant people, they make my wallet and belly fatter.

thebeak says:

crikey. why must they overcomplicate things?

When I was a kid, my county (and most of the rural counties around us) were using mechanical voting machines. You flipped a little lever next to each person’s name you were voting for, then pulled a big lever which recorded your votes and opened the curtain. Entirely mechanical — no electricity even. Just gears and levers. The counters were in a locked compartment, and at the end of election day, the machines were all locked (to prevent more voting) taken to the courthouse and the tallies were done. Simple as pie (simpler, even).

What’s wrong with continuing this? I know, I know, in major metropolitan areas that’s a lot of counting. But big deal. Even if you have 5,000 polling places with 5 machines each, you could have 250 stations taking 100 machines in each. It wouldn’t take anymore than 5 minutes to open each machine and write the totals down, so you’re talking what, 8.5 hours of totalling, plus maybe a half hour of totalling the subtotals? Big deal. What’s accuracy worth? No questionable computer security, no ballots eaten by scanners, no hanging chads, no running out of paper ballots, etc. etc. They’re accurate, easy to use for both voters and officials and nearly impossible to screw up. Plus, you can leave the totals on the machine until the next election in case anyone every questions a number.

Matt says:

re: crikey. We'll never go back to the mechanical


They haven’t been made in years, and too expensive to build at the current time, because the skilled labor (like clock makers, but more specialized!) is so rare.

The ones in existance now have been out of use for years, and need repairs (see above)

They’re not tamper proof… But the one HUGE difference is that you can’t rig an election from a single point with them. You’d be forced to use retail methods, such as vandalism, making machines in unfavorable districts “disapear”, opening machines (before or after the polling) and resetting the wheels (think odometer fraud), and buying off the election judges/vote counters. Also the “paper trail” in those machines was a cash register tape (which was never seen/verified by the voter). The tape and/or ribbon could run out at any time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: re: crikey. We'll never go back to the mechan

The specialized labor exists. Except what you’re stuck in the 70s in terms of production.

A few mechanical, electrical, programing and process engineers, plus a few others I’m not imagining, to design a factory layout, assemble it, and then a few middle-aged low-skill people to lube parts, unjam things on occasion, hit ‘start’ and ‘stop’ buttons, and know when things are screwed up bad enough to warrant calling back one of the aforementioned engineers to fix a robot arm.

Result: A few engineering jobs, a handful of middling-pay jobs, and a factory in a low-wage Southern state capable of sneezing 10,000 machines a day with a bunch of automated machines that don’t know what a ‘union’ is much less how to form one.

Reminds me of the factory built for those Segways. Had some sort of ridiculously high capacity, but of course demand didn’t skyrocket like the inventor hoped it would. But still. Modern industry simply doesn’t need those specialists of which you speak. Especially when ‘repairing’ most items today is more expensive in terms of labor and one-off replacement parts than simply having a factory spit out a replacement.

mahesh55 says:

Florida Democratic

Isn’t it strange that the bi-partisan bill changing Florida’s primary was passed by a unanimous vote, but now the Florida Democratic Party is blaming the change on the Republican-controlled Legislature and the Republican governor?
Both Florida and Michigan changed their primary dates and got punished by Howard Dean and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for having the primaries too early, but do you hear the political commentators blasting the Michigan governor and Legislature? Of course not, because the Michigan governor is a Democrat.
Miami homes for sale-Miami homes for sale

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