[LINK] A 2008 e-Voting Wrapup with Dr. Barbara Simons

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Sat Nov 8 13:18:15 AEDT 2008

A 2008 e-Voting Wrapup with Dr. Barbara Simons
By James Turner
November 7, 2008

James Turner: This is James Turner for O'Reilly Media. I'm talking today 
with Dr. Barbara Simons, past President of the Association for Computing 
Machinery. Dr. Simons was recently appointed to the Advisory Board of 
the Federal Election Assistance Commission which oversees and recommends 
voting technology in the United States. Dr. Simons previously worked at 
IBM, and is now taking some time to write a book on election 
technologies. Thank you for taking the time to join us.

Barbara Simons: Oh it's a pleasure.

JT: So the purpose of getting you here today obviously is to talk about 
the Election cycle we've just gone through but before we do that why 
don't you talk a little bit about the work of the Election Assistance 
Commission and for those of us who may have successfully repressed the 
memories of the 2000 and 2004 Election cycles remind us why it was created.

BS: The Election Assistance Commission was created by the Help America 
Vote Act which was passed in 2002 in response to a lot of the problems 
that occurred in Florida in the 2000 Election and 2002 Primary--2002 
Mid-Terms. So the Help America Vote Act provided almost $4 billion to 
replace punch card and other types of old technologies and the Election 
Assistance Commission was to oversee that; it also is mandated to create 
standards for voting systems and that's basically what it's been 
doing--that sort of thing. It's the closest thing we have to a Federal 
agency that oversees the Elections in the United States.

JT: So what is the role of the Advisory Committee inside of that and how 
did you get involved with it?

BS: The Board of Advisors, the role as I understand it is to provide 
advice to the Election Assistance Commission. I was just appointed to it 
a short while ago; I haven't attended a meeting yet, so I can tell you 
more specifically the kinds of things that happen once I have that 
experience. The Board of Advisors was also created by the Help America 
Vote Act and it represents many different interests. I was appointed by 
Senator Harry Reid to one of the four seats on the Election Assistance - 
on the Board of Advisors which are designated for technologists. 
However, I really am the only technologist on the Board of Advisors so 
far as I know. There are no other Computer Scientists on that Board and 
no Statisticians.

JT: So getting to the current Election cycle, obviously with the margin 
of victory this time around at least in the Presidential race it's not 
as critical how any particular State went but there are a couple of 
tight races, the notable one being the Senatorial race in Minnesota 
between Al Franken and the Republican incumbent which is a couple 
hundred votes out of a couple of million. But other than that. we've got 
a couple of hundred electoral vote margin here; given that there hasn't 
been a lot of focus I think on problems that occurred. What have you 
been hearing?

BS: Well it's interesting that you brought up the Michigan situation 
because I think that's going to be quite fascinating. Last I saw there 
were 357 votes separating Franken and Coleman and because of Michigan 
law; Minnesota law--excuse me--Minnesota law any time there is a 
discrepancy of 0.5-percent or less between the two top candidates there 
has to be--there's a required recount. So the recount that is occurring 
is not occurring because Franken requested it; it's occurring because of 
Minnesota law. And most of the voting in Minnesota was done on precinct 
based optical scan machines, paper ballot which is then fed into the 
optical scanner at the precinct. And the good thing about that is it 
gives the voter immediate feedback if there is any problem, such as 
over-voting, voting twice for a candidate.

What's interesting--what's going to be fascinating about this is that 
most of the precincts in Minnesota use the ES&S-M100 scanners and so 
when this recount--this manual recount occurs it's going to be a check 
on how accurate these scanners are. Now there was a problem in Michigan 
with these same scanners where some early testing showed some 
discrepancies between what the scanners reported and what should have 
been, and so this is really going to be quite fascinating. It's not 
clear what the outcome is going to be.

JT: This is the same style of machine that is used in standardized 
testing in that you fill in the bubble and it records it. What is it 
that can go wrong? That's in fact the system we use in my town. Other 
than mis-programming the reader, what is there to go wrong in that system ?

BS: Well there's several problems; one is--well first of all, as you say 
because these things have computers in them they can be mis-programmed, 
there can be software bugs. You could conceivably have malicious code. 
You could have the machines give you a different count from the right 
one. There was a situation back in the 2004 race where Gephardt in one 
of the Primaries--Gephardt received a large number of votes after he had 
withdrawn from the race. And this was done--using paper ballots, using 
optical scan paper ballots. I don't know if it was this particular brand 
or not. And when they were recounted it was discovered that in fact that 
was the wrong result; that he had gotten fewer votes. Now I never saw an 
explanation for what happened but my guess is that whoever programmed 
these machines had mistakenly assigned the slot that was for Kerry to 
Gephardt and the slot that was for Gephardt to Kerry; that's my guess. 
Now I don't know if that's true but if that did happen I think there's 
very little reason to believe it was malicious because there was really 
nothing to be gained by doing that. So I think it was just an honest 
error but of course errors can occur.

So even with these machines, there's this system where you have paper 
ballots and you have a scanner; you have the capacity to recount the 
ballots which is a very good thing. That's what happened with the 
Gephardt case and that's what going to happen in Minnesota. And you need 
that capability but you then have to exercise so it's not enough to just 
have the paper ballots that you can audit or recount I believe, and I'm 
speaking for myself now. I believe that it's we really have to start 
auditing our Elections nationally. We have to conduct manual random 
audits that are statistically significant of all of our Elections so 
that the loser and the loser's supporters will believe the outcome of 
the race. In this case, in 2008 it was very clear who won and I don't 
think there's been any people who have been raising questions about the 
correctness of the outcome. But we saw in 2000 and 2004 that was not 
so--that people did raise questions and there was really no way to 
conduct an audit that could have convinced the supporters of the losing 
candidates that their candidates truly had lost. I don't think that's 
healthy for democracy.

JT: So in terms of what actually is going to go on, are they essentially 
going to take all of the scanned ballots and take them to some central 
location and run them through some known programmed good machines or is 
it going to be a precinct by precinct recount?

BS: That's a detail I don't know, but I do believe it's going to be 
manual. My guess is obviously if you're going to be doing something like 
that you have to divide it up because of the huge number of ballots.

JT: So the two States that were notable in the last couple of Election 
cycles were Florida and Ohio. Have you heard anything so far as to 
issues or successes? Those are also two States who have gone very 
heavily in--for touch screen as I believe.

BS: Well Florida now has a lot of paper in 2008; they've gotten rid of a 
lot of their touch screen machines. And Ohio has too. So they've changed.

JT: Was that because of the 2004 and 2006 problem?

BS: Yeah; well yeah and also Ohio conducted a major study of electronic 
voting machines called the Everest Study which was commissioned by the 
current Secretary of State Bruner, Secretary of State Bruner and this 
study uncovered huge problems with these--with most of these voting 
systems, these touch screen voting systems. They were found to be 
insecure, unreliable, difficult to use; basically a similar study had 
been studied in California not too much earlier called the Top to Bottom 
Review and the Ohio study confirmed every--all of the problems that had 
been uncovered in California and found additional problems, so based on 
that there was a push to get rid of a lot of these machines.

There had been problems you know in Ohio and Florida however involving 
the Voter Registration Databases and I've heard of complaints from both 
States of--well in particular I've heard of complaints in--from Ohio of 
people going to the polling place to vote and finding that their names 
were not on the electronic devices that people have--had in the polling 
places which listed all of the eligible voters, even though these same 
people had been voting for years. And in some cases their names were on 
the Central Database but they weren't on the devices in the polling 
places. So I believe what typically happened is that they had to vote 
provisional ballots. In Florida of course there were a lot of concerns 
as you probably know about that you've got match requirements that had 
been required under Florida law.

One of the problems was that if the voter--the information that the 
voter had on the Voter Registration didn't exactly match some 
information that was on for example the Department of Motor Vehicle 
Database or the last four digits of the Social Security Number then the 
voter could correct that by bringing ID prior to the Election Day but 
there was a decision made on Election Day such voters had to be given 
provisional ballots if they hadn't already corrected any problems and 
then they had a few days afterwards to go to the various places and 
prove that they were allowed to vote. What I understand happened in 
Florida is that a lot of the registrars accepted ID on Election Day 
rather than forcing people to vote provisionally. And one of the reasons 
they did this is that otherwise they would have been stuck with large 
numbers of provisional ballots which is just an enormous headache to 
deal with. And so they basically allowed people to identify themselves 
on Election Day and vote

JT: What happens with provisional ballots?

BS: Well it varies from State to State but what happens with provisional 
ballots is there's-each one--for each provisional ballot there has to be 
a determination as to whether or the not voter was allowed to vote. And 
so this has to be done on a ballot by ballot basis and it can be very 
time consuming. There have been a number of studies done where these 
people have looked at what's happened with these provisional ballots and 
it seems as if the number that actually gets counted can very 
considerably from State to State. So in general, a lot of people feel 
that the provisional ballots are better than not being allowed to vote 
at all but it's a lot better if you can vote a regular ballot than to 
vote provisionally because if you vote provisionally there's some chance 
your vote won't be counted even if you are a legitimate voter.

JT: Is there a conceivable situation where a Secretary of State or a 
local registrar might say you know nothing was very close at all; we're 
just not going to count them?

BS: As far as what gets counted for example I think with absentee 
ballots I think that--that kind of decision is--it can vary from State 
to State. I believe that there are States and don't--you know I'm a 
little bit uncomfortable saying this on air quite frankly but I believe 
that there are States where if the Election is not at all close and the 
number of absentee and possibly provisional ballots that you have is not 
large enough to change the outcome that then the ballots aren't counted. 
I believe that's the case for absentee ballots in some States; I'm not 
sure about the status of provisional ballots but I wouldn't be surprised 
if it's the same for them in some States. In other States that's not the 
case so I think it really varies from State to State.

JT: So what States this time around have to--you know really drunk the 
e-voting Kool Aid the heaviest? Who had the most touch screens in place?

BS: Maryland and Georgia are entirely touch screen States and so is New 
Jersey. In Maryland they're supposed to replace them with optical scan 
paper ballots by 2010 but there's some concern that there may not be the 
funding to do that. In fact Maryland and Georgia both use Diebold which 
is now called Premier, paperless touch screen voting machines; Georgia 
started using them in 2002 and in that race, that's the race in which 
Max Cleveland, the Democratic Senator, paraplegic from--the Vietnam War 
Vet was defeated and I know that there are some people who questioned 
the outcome of that race because the area polls had showed him winning. 
And because that race--those machines are paperless there was no way to 
check the outcome. Another thing that was of a concern in Maryland in 
2002 was that--I mean in Georgia in 2002 was that there were last minute 
software patches being added to the machines just before the Election 
and the software patches hadn't really been inspected by any kind of 
independent agency.

JT: Did you hear any--have you heard anything out of those State about 
how went this time around?

BS: This time around, well you know I believe there's going to be a 
runoff on the Senatorial Race in Georgia if I'm not mistaken because--a 
run-off that's right; a run-off that's right; excuse me I meant runoff 
because the top candidate got fewer than 50-percent of the votes. So 
they are going to be doing a re-run on these machines; it's going to be 
very interesting. These are old machines; they're known to have a lot of 
security problems. They've been examined by independent security experts 
and they're known to be really problematic.

JT: So it sounds like in the upcoming Election cycles we're actually 
going to see a little bit of a retro return to more manual balloting 
systems. Is this kind of a quick patch in that scanned ballots are the 
easiest way to make sure you have a paper trail?

BS: Well I think scanned ballots--well certainly scanned ballots give 
you a paper trail and they give you a good paper trail. The kind of 
paper trail you want and it's not really a paper trail; it's paper 
ballots because they are the ballots. What you want is you want it to be 
easy to audit and recount an election. And I think that's something that 
really people hadn't taken into consideration early on when a lot of 
these machines were first designed and purchased. You want it to be easy 
to conduct an audit or a recount and so the best way to do that is the 
way we would count money which is you sort things into piles and you 
count each pile. And you can sort them into--let's use for example you 
have piles which say--say for example you sort it into piles that say 
McCain and piles that say Obama and then you can do multiple counts of 
each of those piles; you can--you would probably count them into groups 
of 50 so you can let's say you know--just groups of 50 of each one. You 
could have multiple people look at them and read the ballots and say 
yes; these are indeed McCain ballots. Yes; these are indeed Obama 
ballots. And if each of these piles has 50 of them you can count and 
recount. You can have observers; you can videotape it; you can be 
incredibly transparent and then correctly I think you're very accurate.

JT: The one comment that people have had about the touch screen and one 
of the big pushes that was made for them is that they are ADA compliant. 
How does that play out with these older technologies?

BS: Well optical scans are not older technologies. They're like I guess 
for a while--some of these DRE--these touch screen machines have been 
around for quite a while too. One of the things that was investigated in 
California when they did the Top to Bottom Review was just how easy is 
it for people with disabilities to use these touch screen machines? 
Nobody had ever done that before and these test results came back very 
negatively. If you look at the California results they're very negative 
on these touch screen machines. In many cases people in wheelchairs had 
a very difficult time being able to operate them correctly, people who 
were blind sometimes had troubles understanding what was being said or 
things were said too loudly or too softly or they would get confused 
about the instructions or some of the ways that they had for manual 
inputting; their votes were confusing. The results were quite negative. 
There is a--there are these things called Ballot Generating Devices 
which are not what we generally refer to as touch screen machines 
although they can be touch screen. The most widely used one is called 
the Auto Mark. And the way the Auto Mark works is you take a paper 
ballots, one of these optical scan ballots and you insert it into the 
Auto Mark and then it operates much the same way that these other 
paperless--potentially paperless touch screen machines work. It has a 
headphone--headset so that a blind voter can use it; it has--it's 
possible for somebody in a wheelchair to vote, although in fact you 
don't have to use this if you're in a wheelchair; you can vote optical 
scan clearly. Somebody who has severe mobility impairments can vote on 
these machines using a sip, puff device where if you sip it's a zero or 
one and if you puff it's the opposite or a yes or a no. And these--the 
Auto Mark was designed with disability people in mind from early on. And 
it faired much better in the California tests. What it does is at the 
end when the voter with disabilities is finished he or she will say okay 
cast my ballot. At that point the Auto Mark simply marks the optical 
scan ballot; it just marks it. And then you have an optical scan ballot 
that can be read by an optical scanner. There should be no problems with 
it because it's been generated by a machine. And you have a paper ballot 
that can be recounted.

JT: And also conceivably it can be visually verified by the voter if 
it's not a visual disability
before they cast it?

BS: That's right. Or you can have it verified audio--you could put it to 
an audio reader and have it verified that way too but that does get into 
some complications. But basically yes; you can do that. You can also 
have it tested by a voter who doesn't have any vision problems as a way 
to randomly check to make sure that there's no malicious code in it. 
That's not 100-percent guaranteed but it is a kind of check that you can do.

JT: So speaking of that--right; so speaking of code errors and similar 
things, there seems to be a large push all of the sudden for the concept 
to get the software and perhaps the voting machines themselves need to 
be Open Source so that there is a greater transparency. Diebold seems to 
be--has gotten out of the business or has renamed the business or sold 
the business off. Is it no longer kind of a popular business to be in? 
Do you think that there's more of a push to just make it like you know 
have the Federal voting machine factory with an Open Source set of code?

BS: I certainly don't see a Federal voting machine factory in the near 
future; I mean that's an interesting concept. What--in general I'd like 
the idea of Open Source but I don't think it's a panacea. Even with Open 
Source you can have problems; you can have software bugs; you could even 
have malicious code. Admittedly it would be harder to conceal malicious 
code but if you've got a very long piece of software, very long 
complicated software it's still possible to do. So I don't see Open 
Source as being the end-all and be-all for our problems. I actually 
don't have such a problem with having systems that are not Open Source 
if and this is a big if--if these systems can easily be audited and 
recounted and if we actually do audit them. I mean having paper ballots, 
having paper trails--I think is very important but it doesn't do any 
good if nobody is looking at them after the election. So you really 
need--we need to start running our elections the way we would run our 
businesses; we need to have accountability and we need to start auditing 
them and we need to audit them in a regular way. It shouldn't fall on 
the shoulders of a candidate to demand an audit or a recount and then 
have to worry about being called a poor loser. It's in the interest of 
everybody to know that our elections are accurate and that the correct 
person won. I'm actually less concerned about getting the votes exactly 
precisely correct than I am about making sure that the right people win. 
And with a statistically significant audit you can have that so long as 
you have something which you can audit and which is easy to audit. And I 
think that's what we need to focus on.

JT: So one last question I've got for you. In terms of the States that 
did go purely for touch screen what is the recourse there? Short of 
re-holding the whole election is there any quality control at all on 
these machines?

BS: Well I mean as you know the software's secret and efforts that have 
been made by independent computer scientists to look at these machines 
have frequently been rebuffed; the reason that they have been examined 
extensively is because a couple of Secretaries of States have--they have 
demanded it, in particular in California and Ohio and there's also been 
some testing done in Connecticut and a few other States, so I mean it's 
not just Ohio and California. But basically it seems that the State has 
to take up that responsibility in order to get independent computer 
security experts to examine these machines, but basically I don't see 
any recourse. I mean I don't see I mean--it would be nice to be able to 
examine the software after the election if you think there may have been 
a problem. I think that's important. I know there was an effort made to 
do that in 2006 in Sarasota County, Florida when there was a very large 
under-vote for the House of Representatives race, an exceedingly large 
under-vote which means people didn't vote for that race and that--there 
was actually a court case there. And the software was examined by the 
State of Florida as a result of that but the person who lost the race 
wanted to have her own independent computer security expert also examine 
the software and he wasn't allowed to do that. We still don't know 
exactly what caused the problem in Sarasota in 2006. Another issue with 
software is, as I expect you know and probably a lot of your listeners 
will know is that it is possible if you want to rig an election to 
insert software which would then erase itself. Now I'm not saying that 
it's an easy thing to do but in theory and in principle you can have 
malicious software in a voting machine or in any kind of system; it 
doesn't have to be a voting machine--which will do whatever it's going 
to do and then erase itself. That means if afterwards you have a 
forensic examination of the system and you go and look at the software 
you won't find the problem; it won't be there. So that's a concern.

You know I've heard people make claims that various elections have been 
stolen on these machines. It's a difficult--it's not a claim I would 
make because I think it's risky to make a claim when you can't prove it 
nor would I say that no elections have ever been stolen on these 
machines as some other people claim because you can't prove that either. 
And I think the problem is when we find ourselves in the situation where 
we can neither prove nor disprove that the election was--would be 
tabulated--recorded and tabulated and what we need to do is move to 
systems where we can prove things. And I think that's what we have to do 
and the fact that the 2008 Presidential election has not been contested 
the way that for example the 2000 election was contested doesn't mean 
we're out of the woods. There will be other contested races as we're 
seeing in Minnesota although there they're going to count it and there 
we will find out. But if that had happened in Georgia or if it happens 
in Georgia with the upcoming race for Senate that's happening because 
neither candidate got 50-percent if that ends up being very, very close 
I don't know what people will do if they don't trust the outcome. 
There's no recourse. I don't think that's healthy.

JT: Right the recount is you look at the machine and you know it says 
12. Are you sure? Yeah; it still says 12.

BS: Exactly; that's what it will do. The machine will be consistent but 
that doesn't mean it's right and again you don't have to have someone 
rigging the Election to have it wrong. It can be a mistake. It can be a 

JT: Right; and in fact I know from experience with touch screens you've 
got to align them correctly. They get dirty. They malfunction--.

BS: Well calibration is a big issue with touch screen machines and of 
course you were hearing in this last Presidential election that people 
were complaining that they touched one candidate and their vote was 
recorded for the other candidate for President. And I heard it going 
both ways; I heard a lot of people saying they voted for Obama and 
McCain showed up but I think in North Carolina there were cases where 
people said they voted for McCain and Obama showed up. So the point is 
that if these systems are not properly calibrated you could have 
things--you can have situations like that and furthermore they can go 
out of calibration during the course of the election. So they're--you 
know it's--you shouldn't be using--we shouldn't be using a technology 
where we have to worry about recalibrating the damn things all the time. 
That's just not--it doesn't make sense.

JT: So just to wrap up; where do you see--we'll have the 2010 
Congressional and then we'll have the 2012 Presidential. It sounds like 
the trend is going to be more back toward paper-based systems for those. 
Do you think that's going to hold especially given the economic 
situation and the cost of doing that?

BS: I certainly hope it will hold. I know that there is a lot of 
pressure against it--at least on some parts--on the parts of some 
individuals and vendors. One of the things to keep in--there's a couple 
things to keep in mind when thinking about replacing these systems. The 
first is that these direct recording electronic systems or touch screen 
systems as they're called they have to have--the States and localities 
that buy these systems have to have maintenance contracts with the 
vendors because they're very complicated systems to maintain and of 
course the software is a secret. So some of these contracts are quite 
costly and these are ongoing expenses with these machines. In addition, 
because they have software in them they have to be securely stored and 
they have to be securely delivered and those create enormous problems 
especially when you have to worry about delivering large numbers of 
machines to places prior to the election. Frequently these machines end 
up staying in people's garages or in churches for periods of time when 
they're relatively insecure.

And in addition there seems to be problems with some of these machines 
just deteriorating because of usage and age. Avi Rubin has a blog where 
he talks about problems with the machines that were being used in his 
precinct in Maryland where they say at least one of the machines seemed 
to be having the problems because it was deteriorating--you know there 
were physical problems with the machine because it's a piece of 
machinery--having nothing to do with the actual voting. So you know 
there are going to be maintenance problems with keeping these machines 
going that in some cases are not going to be cheap. If we move on a 
large scale to paper based systems while it's true you have to print out 
the paper each time, the paper ballot you also have to print out paper 
ballots for absentee voters anyway, so it's not as if you have to come 
up with paper ballots only for these systems. You've got to print them 
out; you just got to print out more of them. And you need far fewer 
scanners; the security issues with scanners are not as great because you 
can do an audit and a recount, so altogether it just seems to me that 
moving to paper based optical scan systems with precinct scanners so 
that the voter gets feedback on the ballot if the voter votes twice for 
President; the ballot is kicked out and the voter can vote a new ballot. 
I think that's the best way to go and I really hope that that's what 
happens and that people just stop using these systems that are very 
difficult to audit and recount. And as I say there is the Auto Mark for 
voters with disabilities to use; there's also another system called 
Populex but that's not as widely used as Auto Mark. There could be new 
systems coming forward.

But one other final comment; when you talk about Open Source voting 
systems, another issue with bringing on any kind of new system is that 
it has to go through extensive testing and this can be quite expensive 
and time-consuming. So there's a big upfront cost to any new vendor 
getting into the voting machine--voting system business, which it can be 
a problem.

JT: I actually lied. I have one little follow-up to that which is one 
other trend we've seen in this election is I think the estimate was up 
to 30-percent of the Electorate may have voted early and there's even 
some talk about making that into a Federal law. How is that going to fit 
in with this changing tapestry of voting technologies?

BS: Well I have mixed feelings about early voting. On the one hand I 
think it served a really good function in this e lection because it 
helped to debug some of these systems so I think when people started 
having problems with early voting you know they would get technicians in 
and try to fix them or they would send out alerts and so on, so it's not 
like everything happened on Election Day. So I think that was actually a 
very positive thing that these systems were being subjected to intensive 
usage and by that I also mean the electronic Voter Registration 
Databases as well--that they were being subjected to intensive usage 
prior to Election Day so that some of the kinks could be worked out 
beforehand, so I think that was positive. I think it's also positive 
when people get an opportunity to vote when hopefully they don't have to 
wait in line so long, although I understand that a lot of the early 
voting had very long lines. What concerns me with the early voting and 
this is a general issue--is that you've got to worry about chain of 
custody of the ballots. So you have to be very careful that the voting 
is taking place and these ballots are properly secured and I think 
that's an issue that I haven't seen a lot of discussion of but it's 
something that definitely needs attention with early voting.

JT: Right; it telescopes the problem from keeping an eye on the ballots 
for a day to keeping an eye on them for two weeks.
BS: We didn't talk about emergency paper ballots.

JT: Sure; there were some places where they had to go to those weren't 

BS: Right; and there was also a court case over that in Pennsylvania 
where the Secretary of State put out an order saying that 100-percent of 
the machines had to break down before the paper ballot--before the paper 
ballot or before emergency paper ballots automatically had to be given 
out. And there was a court case over that and the Judge ruled that if at 
least half of the systems break down then emergency paper ballots had to 
be given out and but apparently the local Election officials could 
have--could give them out at any point if they wished to. So they had 
the ability to give them out at any time but they had to give them out 
if half of the systems broke down. And there was--I've seen a lot of 
discussion about emergency paper ballots as being a way to help 
alleviate some of the long lines that people were anticipating 
especially with voting machines.

JT: Did they end up using them anywhere?

BS: I'd have--I'm pretty sure they did but if you wanted specifics I'll 
have to get back to you on that.

Editor's Note: Dr. Simons wrote me later to say: "Many Pennsylvania 
polling places opened on election day with half or more of their voting 
machines broken -- so they used emergency paper ballots until they could 
fix their machines."


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

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