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. icon
    Rick Gutleber (profile), 10 Oct 2006 @ 8:39am

    Re: I Don't Get It

    Diebold has machines that do that. They're called "Automatic Teller Machines" and they have been around for decades.

    This whole Diebold situation smacks of grotesque corruption, but I cannot understand what our elected officials from either party hope to gain by undermining our whole election system.

    It's frightening, and I think it's long time for state to fight back (like Maryland is trying to do.)

    Here in Virginia, the ballot system we use seems to be the perfect situation for anyone except the visually impaired (for whom accomodations would be required):

    We are given a very simple sheet with the candidates for each position clearly spelled out with little circles to fill in. The voter fills in the circles and feeds the ballot into a machine. The ballots are optically counted by machines, but there is obviously a hard-copy backup, the ballots themselves. This system cannot be any simpler, and I imagine its costs are an order of magnitude less than these ridiculous Diebold machines.

    How long would an ATM from Diebold go unchallenged if it was divulged that there were security issues. Do you think the banks would stand for it? Well, they why do the politicians, and more importantly the Federal Election Commission?

    Sometimes I don't even recognize this country any more.

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