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High Turnout May Add to Problems at Polling Places - NYTimes.com
Two-thirds of voters will mark their choice with a pencil on a paper ballot that is counted by an optical scanning machine, a method considered far more reliable and verifiable than touch screens. But paper ballots bring their own potential problems, voting experts say.
The scanners can break down, leading to delays and confusion for poll workers and voters. And the paper ballots of about a third of all voters will be counted not at the polling place but later at a central county location. That means that if a voter has made an error — not filling in an oval properly, for example, a mistake often made by the kind of novice voters who will be flocking to the polls — it will not be caught until it is too late. As a result, those ballots will be disqualified.
Voting machines could bring Election Day glitches - CNN.com
Touch-screen machines can occasionally fail or register votes for unintended candidates. Optical-scan systems can have trouble reading paper ballots that are too long or marked with the wrong ink. At least one study suggests that electronic voting machines can be easily hacked.
And some 9 million voters, including many in the battleground states of Ohio and Florida, will use equipment that has changed since March, increasing concerns about errors next Tuesday.
The Charleston Gazette - Some early W.Va. voters angry over switched votes
At least three early voters in Jackson County had a hard time voting for candidates they want to win.
Virginia Matheney and Calvin Thomas said touch-screen machines in the county clerk's office in Ripley kept switching their votes from Democratic to Republican candidates.
"When I touched the screen for Barack Obama, the check mark moved from his box to the box indicating a vote for John McCain," said Matheney, who lives in Kenna.
Slashdot | Voting Machines Routinely Failing Nationwide
Voting machines in several critical swing states are causing major problems for voters. A Government Accountability Office report and Common Cause election study [PDF] has concluded that major issues identified in the last presidential election have not been corrected, nor have election officials been notified of the problems. How long can we afford to trust our elections to black box voting practices? From the article: 'In Colorado, 20,000 left polling places without voting in 2006 because of crashed computer registration machines and long lines. And this election day, Colorado will have another new registration system.'
The Raw Story | Bill advocates paper ballots and audits
A New Jersey congressman hopes to introduce a bill in the House that would offer $600 million to voting districts across the nation that convert to paper ballots or put in audit systems in time for the November presidential election.
Congress finally considers aggressive e-voting overhaul
Rep Rush Holt (D-NJ) has emerged as the leader of the e-voting reform movement in Congress. He is the lead sponsor of HR 811, the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act, which has garnered dozens of co-sponsors.
HR 811 features several requirements that will warm the hearts of geek activists. It bans the use of computerized voting machines that lack a voter-verified paper trail. It mandates that the paper records be the authoritative source in any recounts, and requires prominent notices reminding voters to double-check the paper record before leaving the polling place. It mandates automatic audits of at least three percent of all votes cast to detect discrepancies between the paper and electronic records. It bans voting machines that contain wireless networking hardware and prohibits connecting voting machines to the Internet. Finally, it requires that the source code for e-voting machines be made publicly available.
Report outlines midterm e-voting failures
A report on the November midterms released this past week by three different e-voting activist groups describes problems with electronic voting machines in 36 states. The report (PDF), entitled "E-Voting Failures in the 2006 Mid-Term Elections: A Sampling of Problems Across the Nation," is based on reports made to a non-partisan hotline that operated the day of the November 7 midterm elections. Calls to the hotline yielded 1022 separate incident reports, the vast majority of which concerned problems with direct-recording electronic (DRE) machines like the Diebold Accuvote model described in my article on how to steal an election. Problems were also reported with scanners and electronic ballot markers, but DREs made up the bulk of the complaints.
Slashdot | E-voting State By State
One-third of Americans will use voting machines next week that have never before served in a general election. Computerworld.com provides an overview of e-voting in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia — equipment, systems for voter registration, polling, significant legal challenges to the systems, previous media coverage, links to government watchdog sites, the vendors, technologies and laws that are important to the issue, and a review of 'Hacking Democracy.'
SignOnSanDiego.com > News > Metro -- Electronic vote system slated here is rejected
The electronic voting system that San Diego County planned to start rolling out in November has been rejected by the Secretary of State's Office.
In a mock election, machines turned off, screens froze and papers jammed.
The voting system has a checkered past. In 2004, hundreds of polling places opened late and voters were turned away when a computer glitch paralyzed the touch screens.
Secretary of State Bruce McPherson said the voting machine failed 10 percent of the time during testing. He notified Ohio-based Diebold Election Systems Inc. on Wednesday that its system was "not suitable."
McKinney urges inquiry into electronic voting | ajc.com
Fourth-District Rep. Cynthia McKinney on Monday called for an investigation of the state's electronic voting machines, pointing to numerous problems with equipment failure, defects and software problems in the 2002 elections.
The DeKalb County Democrat criticized the state for investing in a $54 million touch-screen computer format from Diebold Elections Systems and then forgoing adequate testing before the general election three years ago. McKinney suggested the failure raised doubts about the accuracy of the election results then and the outcome of the 2004 decisions â€” when McKinney herself won back her seat after a two-year absence.
"The facts we present pose real issues for all other states that followed Georgia's lead and adopted the Diebold standard for themselves," McKinney told reporters at her district office at North DeKalb Mall. "Our aim is an election environment in which voters have confidence in the result."
In 2002, Georgia became the first state to adopt standardized e-voting machines for all jurisdictions after the 2000 presidential election recount in Florida.
Slashdot | NYT Says Paperless Voting A Serious Problem
In an editorial today, the NYTimes comes out strongly in favor of a paper trail for all elections, supporting a recent lobbying effort by Common Cause and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to pass H.R. 550. 'Electronic voting has been rolled out nationwide without necessary safeguards. The machines' computers can be programmed to steal votes from one candidate and give them to another. There are also many ways hackers can break in to tamper with the count. Polls show that many Americans do not trust electronic voting in its current form; such doubts are a serious problem in a democracy.'
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