California E-Voting Machines Let You Vote Early And Often
from the whoo-hoo dept
At what point do we wake up from this e-voting story nightmare and have someone reassure us it was only a dream? Every day, there's yet another story about how badly screwed up these machines are. Today, we've got a treat, as it's not actually about Diebold, but their competitor, Sequoia Voting Systems. It turns out that on the back of some of their machines used in California, there's a little yellow button. If you push it, you can vote multiple times by switching the machine to "manual" mode. In true geek fashion, Sequoia has responded with (I kid you not) their own version of "that's not a bug, that's a feature!" They claim it's "deliberate back-up feature to prevent the Edge from having a single point of failure." Hey, preventing single points of failure are great, but when they introduce a totally different point of failure, that's not so good. But, according to the company, this is the type of "flexibility" they've always provided. I didn't realize that "flexibility" was something desired in an e-voting system. Generally, you'd think people would prefer them to be pretty rigid, but to work right -- and not allow multiple votes. Sequoia claims that use of this feature emits a loud beeping noise, and they'll train poll workers to listen for that -- but that doesn't seem like the most reliable methods. We've heard so many stories of confused and technology illiterate voting officials that it's hard to believe they'll remember this or know what to do if it happens. The company says it will address the issue after next week's election -- but that any district using them can choose to simply turn off this "feature." So, if you're voting in California and you have an AVC Edge e-voting machine from Sequoia, and you have a bit of moral flexibility, apparently you can support your favorite candidate just that much more.