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
    Anonyomous of Course, 10 Oct 2006 @ 5:50am

    Re: Here's a thought...

    There are competitors that address the issues.
    I voted a couple of weeks ago in a local election
    and was offered the choice of taking a pencil
    into the booth and marking the paper ballot or
    using the machine. I decided on the machine
    out of curiosity.

    I was given the same paper ballot and told to
    insert it into a slot in the machine. The ballot
    was sucked inside. Then I navigated a touch
    screen menu to select my votes. I was asked
    to confirm my selections then it marked the
    paper ballot and spit it out.

    I then dropped the paper ballot into the same
    box with those people had marked with pencils.
    They would be collected and tallied optically as
    usual.

    It fullfills the requirements without breaking the
    system. Seems reasonable to me. I'm glad we
    didn't go with Diebold. Sorry I can't recall the name
    on the machine!

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