Diebold Machine Didn't Count Votes, But Diebold Says Not To Worry: They Can Tell You The Actual Vote Totals

from the whoops dept

The situation in Maryland with Diebold voting machines already looked pretty bad with no real fix in sight. However, they're apparently even worse than we had assumed before. Tim Lee, over at The Technology Liberation Front points us to a story on Avi Rubin's blog, posting an email from a Chief Judge for the recent problematic election. Turns out that one of the Diebold machines at his site recorded zero votes on the memory card for the election, despite the fact that fifty-five people were logged voting at that machine. There was no warning or error message on the machine that would have, you know, let anyone know that the machine shouldn't be used or their votes wouldn't be recorded. While in the end, they were able to recover the votes by looking at the additional on-board memory (not the memory card) on the machine, Rubin points out all of the problems with this method, including the fact that they're reliant on Diebold to recover these votes and provide an accurate tally. Once again, this seems to highlight just how many problems there are with these voting machines and should make everyone question why we're rushing them into the voting booths so quickly, without adequate tests.

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  1. identicon
    RevMike, 10 Oct 2006 @ 6:49am

    Re: I Don't Get It

    I still have to wonder how difficult it would be to hang a printer off the thing. You know, one of those little Epson jobbies that designed to print receipts on "NCR" rolls. The yellow one is retained (inside the printer) as a journal, and the white copy is given to the voter.

    While the idea of an audit trail in general is a very good one, this particular scheme is actually subject to a different type of abuse. One of the restraints against 'vote buying' is that there is no way to be certain that the voter actually voted the way you want. If the voter recieved a paper receipt, the less scrupulous 'bosses' would demand to see the receipt in order to either receive some special benefit or just receive something to which you should be entitled. Historically, unions and civil service have been infamous for this sort of abuse. Of course there is no reason that an employer might not try to base a promotion or even continued employment on a vote.


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