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TheStar.com | Canada | Elections Canada backs online voting
Allowing Canadians to vote electronically may be the remedy for the ever-dwindling percentage of voters who bother to exercise their democratic rights, Elections Canada suggests.
In a report released late Friday, the independent electoral watchdog says it will push this fall for legislative changes that would allow it to implement online registration of voters.
And it wants parliamentary approval to conduct an electronic voting test-run in a byelection by 2013.
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.
Law Center Sends Letter to States About Vote-Flipping Machines | Threat Level from Wired.com
A legal center and voting integrity group have teamed up to send a message to secretaries of state around the country warning them that voting machines they use could be susceptible to the same kinds of problems that voters in West Virginia, Tennessee and other states have recently experienced.
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University and the Verified Voting organization sent a fax to secretaries of states on Monday urging them to follow West Virginia's lead and re-calibrate touch-screen machines each morning during early voting and on election day. Last week voters in several West Virginia counties reported that ES&S's iVotronic touch-screen machines were flipping their votes from Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to Republican rival John McCain. West Virginia Secretary of State Betty Ireland addressed the problem by directing the 34 West Virginia counties that use the touch-screen machines to re-calibrate them each morning.
Several States Abandon Electronic Voting for Paper : NPR
nly a few primaries and caucuses have been held so far this year, but questions are already being raised about the reliability of voting equipment.
In New Hampshire, two candidates have asked for a recount of optically scanned ballots. And in South Carolina last weekend, some voting machines didn't start up on time. Both these incidents have activists worried, especially with more than half the states preparing to vote in the next two weeks.
States ready e-voting systems as Election Day approaches
With about four weeks to go before the U.S. presidential election, states across the nation are preparing for heavy voter turnout that could cause problems for local elections officials and electronic voting systems.
To address those challenges, election officials say they're ramping up early to review Election Day preparations and ensure that there are enough paper ballots on hand and that poll workers are adequately trained.
States throw out costly electronic voting machines - USATODAY.com
The demise of touch-screen voting has produced a graveyard of expensive corpses: Warehouses stacked with thousands of carefully wrapped voting machines that have been shelved because of doubts about vanishing votes and vulnerability to hackers.
What to do with this high-tech junkyard is a multimillion-dollar question. One manufacturer offered $1 a piece to take back its ATM-like machines. Some states are offering the devices for sale on eBay and craigslist. Others hope to sell their inventories to Third-World countries or salvage them for scrap.
A few more are holding out hope that the machines, some of which were purchased for as much as $5,000, could one day be resurrected.
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.
E-voting cards raise prospect of fraud
Two votes for one person?
It's possible for people in the Halifax Regional Municipality who have received two e-voting cards, or those of family and friends who have died or moved away.
At least three CBC employees could cast a second ballot in the municipal election this month, if they were prepared to break the law.
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.'
Slashdot | Diebold Admits Ohio Machines May Lose Votes
Premier Election Solutions (a subsidiary of Diebold) has acknowledged a flaw that causes the systems to lose votes. It cannot be patched before the election and the machines are used in half of Ohio's counties, but they are issuing guidelines for avoiding the problem that presumably contain a work-around. While Diebold initially blamed anti-virus software for the glitch, they have now discovered that the bug was their own fault for not recording votes to memory when the cards are uploaded in 'certain circumstances' — something their initial analysis missed. It would be nice to hope that Ohio poll workers would be tech-savvy enough to make this a non-issue, but they had poll worker shortages last year and might need tech-savvy people to volunteer.
Slashdot | States Throw Out Electronic Voting Machines
an AP story about the thousands of voting machines gathering dust in warehouses across the country after states such as California, Ohio, and Florida have banned their use. Many of these machines cost $3.5K to $5K each. Local election boards are struggling to find ways to recover any of the cost of the machines, or even to recycle them. The picture in Ohio is the most confusing, as multiple court cases limit the state's options and result in a situation in which the discredited machines will nevertheless be used in the presidential election coming up in November. The state's new (Democratic) attorney general has just issued a rule banning the practice of election workers taking the machines home with them the night before elections.
London Mayoral vote can't be verified due to e-voting irregularities
The Open Rights Group's report into e-counting of votes cast in the London Elections is out today. The report finds that:
"there is insufficient evidence available to allow independent observers to state reliably whether the results declared in the May 2008 elections for the Mayor of London and the London Assembly are an accurate representation of voters' intentions."
Votes for London Mayor and the 25 member London Assembly were counted electronically, and overall the election was well-managed by the independent body set up to run elections in London, London Elects.
Slashdot | Hard Evidence of Voting Machine Addition Errors
Princeton Professor, Ed Felton, has posted a series of blog entries in which he shows the printed tapes he obtained from the NJ voting machines don't report the ballots correctly. In response to the first one, Sequoia admitted that the machines had a known software design error that did not correctly record which kind of ballots were cast (republican or democratic primary ballots) but insisted the vote totals were correct. Then, further tapes showed this explanation to be insufficient. In response, State officials insisted that the (poorly printed) tapes were misread by Felton. Again further tapes showed this not to be a sufficient explanation. However all those did not foreclose the optimistic assessment that the errors were benign — that is, the possibility that vote totals might really be correct even though the ballot totals were wrong and the origin of the errors had not been explained. Now he has found (well-printed) tapes that show what appears to be hard proof that it's the vote totals that are wrong, since two different readout methods don't agree.
PA primary will be unauditable; GOP blocks e-voting reform
On the eve of tomorrow's hotly contested and relatively close Democratic presidential primary in Pennsylvania, a number of voting activists are sounding the alarm one last time about the state's election systems. Over 85 percent of PA voters will vote on paperless touchscreen machines that are hackable, failure-prone, and fundamentally unauditable.
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