[LINK] E-voting glitches hamper elections in seven states
brd at iimetro.com.au
Wed Nov 5 10:13:42 AEDT 2008
E-voting glitches hamper elections in seven states
Hanging Chad, make room for Folded Crease
By Dan Goodin in San Francisco
4th November 2008 20:15 GMT
USA '08 People in at least seven states - six of them considered
battleground states - are reporting that bugs and malfunctions with
electronic voting machines are hampering their ability to cast votes in
a presidential election that is expected to bring out a record number of
In Florida, a state that is no stranger to controversial election
results, the problem was with optical scan machines, which,
coincidentally, many e-voting skeptics have said are less prone to error
than other ballot machine types. In the sunshine state's Palm Beach
County, elections officials have said that creases in absentee ballots
are causing some votes to be misread by machines made by Sequoia Voting
Systems. It seems that in some cases, the crease can be misinterpreted
as a black arrow that's supposed to indicate a voter's choice.
The discovery has prompted one candidate whose race is printed on the
part of the ballot that's folded to request absentee ballots to be hand
counted. So far officials have rejected the call.
Voters also reported problems with optical scanning in Colorado. They
stem from dust that collects in the creases of mail-in ballots that
could lead to inaccuracies.
Virginia, another swing state that could ultimately decide whether
Democrat Barack Obama or Republican John McCain wins the White House,
also experienced problems with e-voting machines Tuesday. Voting at more
than two-dozen polling places in that state came to a standstill caused
largely by machine failures and a lack of paper ballots. In Henrico
County, many people showing up to polls had to wait hours to cast their
ballot after five of seven voting machines broke down, according to a
group called the Election Protection Coalition. No paper ballots were
available during the outage.
Henrico County officials disputed the reports of long lines.
The reports are just the latest to cast e-voting as unreliable and
fraught with risk to tampering. In August 2007, California Secretary of
State imposed strict limitations on the use of e-voting machines from
all four companies doing business in the state. Ohio's top elections
official has also reported finding serious vulnerabilities in machines
used in that state.
Tuesday's problems also extended to states that are not considered swing
In Kentucky's Kenton County 108 eSlate machines sold by Hart Intercivic
had to be taken out of service two hours after polls opened. The
problem, according to the Associated Press: "The machines weren't
lighting up when someone voted a straight-party ticket of all Democrats
or Republicans. The machines' removal meant longer waits for some voters."
And in Illinois, where polls indicate Obama is likely to win easily,
people also reported problems, according to the group Verified Voting.
Other states reporting problems included New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
brd at iimetro.com.au
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